​​​​​​​​​Poli​​cy and Legislation​



​Policy and Legislation are key ​elements of the State’s emergency management arrangements. The Policy and Legislation section of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) undertakes a range of activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Provision of executive and administrative support to the SEMC subcommittees
  •  Representation of SEMC on State emergency management working/reference groups
  • Development and review of emergency management legislation
  • Development and review of the State EM Policy, State EM Plan,  and State EM Procedure​
  • Auditing and review of Westplans
  • Development of guides and support information for emergency management practitioners
  • Identification and promotion of "best practice" in emergency management
  • Provision of expert advice on emergency management related issues.

Governance and Compliance

​The Policy and Legislation section of the OEM also undertakes the role of ensuring governance and compliance with respect to SEMC policy, plans and procedures.

This role includes the following functions:

  • Management of the development and review of State EM Policy, plans and procedures
  • Review of all plans submitted by hazard management agencies to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Emergency Management Act (EM Act) and State EM Policy and State EM Plans
  • Development of policy that assists local governments in the development of local emergency management arrangements in accordance with the EM Act and State EM Policy and plans
  • Ensure that the State's EM arrangements remain contemporary and follow best practice principles.


State EM Plannin​​​g Framework 

The State EM framework includes legislation, policies, plans, procedures and governance structures to manage emergencies in WA. 

EM arrangements in WA are achieved through an EM planning framework as depicted in the Figure below. The figure is indicative of the hierarchy of the documents i.e. the EM Legislation is the head of power for the State EM Policy, and the State EM Policy provides direction to EM agencies in the development and maintenance of State EM Plans etc. This framework provides a State wide mechanism to ensure a coordinated approach to emergency response and community safety.


The Emergency Management Act 2005 (the EM Act) is the cornerstone of the State's emergency management arrangements:

Key features of the EM Act includes providing for:

  • the creation of a State level strategic policy framework;
  • direction of public authorities through policy; 
  • the establishment of various committees, groups and councils;
  • planning and preparation protocols for emergencies and hazards at State, District and local levels;
  • the prompt and coordinated organisation of EM arrangements;
  • the declaration of Emergency Situations and State of Emergency and special powers that may be invoked during both situations; and
  • other miscellaneous and general provisions.

The Emergency Management Regulations 2006 (EM Regulations):

  • Establishment of the terms of appointment and conduct of SEMC meetings
  • Prescription of hazards which are not listed in the EM Act
  • Provides for the appointment of hazard management agencies, combat agencies and support organisations.

Relevant legislation: 

Emergency Management Act 2005

Emergency Management Regulations 2006


State Emergency Management (EM) Policy, State EM Plan and State EM Procedure

State Emergency Management Policy, State EM Plan and State EM Procedure are prepared by the Policy and Legislation section of the OEM to support the Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act). 

State EM Policies underpin the State’s EM arrangements and are developed when there is a need to prescribe a formal instruction or process as a result of governing legislation or a SEMC resolution. State EM Policy clearly defines the required outcome that is to be achieved, and explains the roles and responsibilities of all public authorities involved.

The EM Act stipulates that a Public Authority that is given a role or responsibility under a State EM Policy is to comply with the State EM Policy. 

All relevant EM policies are contained in the State EM Policy document, which is supported by State EM procedures, plans and guidelines.

The documents should be read in conjunction with each other and include: 
  • State Emergency Management Policy (State EM Policy);
  • State Emergency Management Plan (State EM Plan);
  • State Hazard Specific Plans (Westplans);
  • State Emergency Management Procedures (State EM Procedures);
  • State Emergency Management Guidelines and Guides (State EM Guidelines); and
  • State Emergency Management Glossary (State EM Glossary). 

It should be noted that, where applicable, these documents have been divided into the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR) categories.



For further information email the Policy and Legislation team: policy@oem.wa.gov.au or legislation@oem.wa.gov.au.