1.4 Objectives

The objectives of the Colac Otway Shire MEMP are to:

  • Identify, evaluate and treat potential risks that could impact on the Colac Otway Shire community.
  • Implement measures to prevent or reduce the likelihood or consequences of emergencies.
  • Manage arrangements for the utilisation and implementation of municipal resources (being resources owned by or under the direct control of the municipal council) and other resources available for use in prevention, preparedness, response and recovery in emergencies.
  • Manage support that may be provided to or from adjoining municipalities.
  • Assist the affected community to recover following an emergency.
  • Complement other local, regional and state government planning arrangements.

The Colac Otway Shire MEMP is consistent with the following objectives contained in the Emergency Management Manual Victoria, which aim to:

Deal with all hazards: While most attention is given to the obvious emergencies such as fire, flood and transport accidents, a wide range of hazards are dealt with using the emergency management arrangements and resources. This includes emergencies for which there has been little or no experience in Victoria, such as new animal diseases, terrorist incidents, earthquakes or environmental emergencies.

Be integrated (involve all people and relevant agencies): The management of emergencies is a shared responsibility involving many people and organisations in the community. It is not something done by one sector of the community to or for the rest of society, although some organisations have specialist roles. In addition to the emergency services, all government departments may have some role to play. The emergency response role may be a minor part of their responsibilities, however many departments have an essential prevention responsibility. Prevention infrastructure includes, land use planning, occupational health and safety, clean water, public health and building regulations. These are part of the prevention infrastructure.

Municipal councils have essential roles in emergency management. Voluntary organisations such as Australian Red Cross, St John Ambulance, Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network (WICEN) and search and rescue organisations play well-defined roles in emergency management.

Be comprehensive (cover prevention, response and recovery): Prevention, response and recovery are all important aspects of emergency management and each are addressed in these arrangements. The model of emergency management shown below makes clear that there is not a strict sequence, nor a hierarchy of relationships. All activities are important and in a comprehensive model, have a place in the overall scheme. Emergency management activities do not take place in any particular sequence or cycle. It is now recognised that prevention, response and recovery do not follow each other in order. They can all operate at the same time.

Figure 2 - Time Sequence of Emergency Management Activities

Source: Australian Emergency Management Community Recovery - Handbook 2

Response activities commence as soon as possible after the time of impact, peak to full effort quickly, and often cease promptly when the emergency has been dealt with, and/or affected people have been rescued or evacuated.

Recovery activities commence at or soon after the time of impact, and peak to full effort more gradually and often later than response activities. Recovery activities may continue for a considerable period of time, gradually tapering off and merging into normal community activities in the weeks, months or even years after impact.

Prevention, response and recovery are not phases or stages of emergency management. The model sees them as clusters of activities. They take place as needed, and do not necessarily follow one another in a sequential order.

1.3 Aim

1.5 Purpose of the Plan