Alternative Commonwealth Capabilities for Crisis Response Discussion Paper

​The Australian Government is currently seeking to enhance Commonwealth crisis responses and recovery capabilities. This comes as Australia faces increasingly frequent and severe crises. The Department is seeking views on how the nation can achieve this and has released a discussion paper.

Climate change will likely make future crises increasingly complex, consecutive and cascading. This applies across a spectrum of hazards. This was evident during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic where the emergency response, national supply chains and delivery of health services were severely impacted.

A whole-of-society effort is needed to build national capacity and resilience, while enhancing the Commonwealth’s ability to support States and Territories as primary first responders.

Currently, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the Government’s primary non-financial means to assist State and Territory-led crisis responses, should it be requested. The Defence Strategic Review recommended that the ADF should only be used as the last resort for domestic aid to the civil community. While the ADF will always be available for specialist capabilities, the Government needs viable crisis response alternatives to the ADF and an ability to draw on enhanced latent industrial capacity to uplift its capability when needed.

We want to hear from you. We welcome your views and invite you to make a submission in either Word or PDF format. You may provide your submission via email to NationalResilience.Consultation@homeaffairs.gov.au or via the Alternative Commonwealth Capabilities for Crisis Response Discussion Paper f​orm.

Submissions close 11:59pm Wednesday, 20 September 2023.

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