The Recovery and Western Australia Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA) functions were transferred to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on 1 December 2016.

Recovery is defined as the support of emergency affected communities in the reconstruction and restoration of physical infrastructure, the environment and community, psychosocial and economic wellbeing.

Emergencies and disasters disrupt people and communities. The range of impacts of disasters on a community can be described across the social, built, economic and natural environments. It is in these environments that recovery is conducted.

The State's recovery activities are underpinned by the State Emergency Management Act 2005 and the State Emergency Management Policy and Plan.

The Recovery function is also guided by the principles of the National Principles for Disaster Recovery, which reinforce that disaster recovery is part of emergency management, which includes the broader components of prevention, preparedness and response.

Successful recovery relies on six key concepts:

  1. Understand the context: based on an understanding of the community context, with each community having its own history, values and dynamics;
  2. Recognise complexity:  successful recovery is responsive to the complex and dynamic nature of both emergencies and the community; 
  3. Use community community-led approaches: successful recovery is community-centred, responsive and flexible, engaging with community and supporting them to move forward;
  4. Coordinate all activities: successful recovery requires a planned, coordinated and adaptive approach, between community and partner agencies, based on continuing assessment of impacts and need; 
  5. Communicate effectively: successful recovery js built on effective communication between the affected community and other partners; and
  6. Recognise and build capacity: successful recovery recognises, supports and builds on individual, community and organisational capacity and resilience.

The Recovery function understands that the key to successful recovery is in supporting self-help and strengthening the resources, capacity and resiliency already present within individuals and communities.

Recovery commences with planning and responding to an emergency and continues until after the affected community is able to manage on its own.

One of the key messages of the Recovery function is to increase awareness that recovery begins at the same time as response and that this integration is referred to as the 'Response-Recovery Interface'. ​

State Recovery Coordinator

The State Recovery Coordinator manages the Recovery function team at OEM and supports a whole-of-government approach by working with State Government agencies, local governments and the community in supporting and coordinating recovery activities.

The role of the State Recovery Coordinator is detailed in the State EM Policy and Plan. An overview of the role includes:

  • liaising with the State Emergency Coordinator and Controlling Agency during the response phase of an emergency
  • liaising with and supporting Local Recovery Coordinators with matters pertaining to level 2 and 3 incidents
  • coordinating the recovery activities of government and non-government agencies
  • initiating dissemination of information relating to State-level recovery coordination using the emergency public information arrangements
  • organise and manage the resources, staff and systems necessary for the immediate and longer-term recovery
  • advocate on behalf of the affected community with government departments, voluntary agencies, community groups, industry, business, local government and government departments in order to achieve the most effective and appropriate recovery
  • provide information to the government, community and media
  • responsible for determining when the State-level recovery coordination arrangements cease, following consultation with the affected local government(s)/Local Recovery Coordination Group(s), to ensure there are no more gaps in service delivery or non-completion of tasks
  • in conjunction with the local government/s and the State Emergency Coordinator, is to consider the level of State involvement required, based on such factors as the capacity of the local governments; the number of local governments affected; and the complexity and duration of the recovery.

Please contact the State Recovery Coordinator, Mr Steve Joske CSC, on 6551 4037 or 0407 988 468 or at steve.joske@oem.wa.gov.au in relation to level 2 and 3 incidents or emergency situation declarations.

Alternatively, the OEM Recovery team can be contacted via email (loren.bebich@oem.wa.gov.au) for non-urgent matters. 

​Financial Assistance

The primary responsibility for safeguarding and restoration of public and private assets affected by an emergency rests with the owner. However, a range of financial disaster relief measures is available to assist communities from eligible natural disaster events.

Assistance is not compensation based nor intended to replace or act as a disincentive for self-help, insurance or other mitigation strategies.

Western Australian Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement (WAND​RRA) - For information on WANDRRA please contact the administrators on (08) 6551 4034or (08) 6551 4041, or by email to WANDRRA@oem.wa.gov.au or from the OEM WANDRRA webpage.

Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) - The NDRRA Determinations outline the principles, guidelines, practices and processes under which the Commonwealth provides financial assistance to the States and territories for the provision of natural disaster relief payments and infrastructure restoration.

The Commonwealth NDRRA do not apply directly to disaster-affected communities.

The WANDRRA administrators and the State Recovery Coordinator are the State's coordinators for the NDRRA.

​SEMC Recovery Subcommittee - The Recovery function provides executive and administrative support to the SEMC Recovery Subcommittee


​Role of Local Government in Recovery

It is a function of local government to manage recovery following an emergency affecting the community in its district. Local governments must ensure the preparation and maintenance of Local Emergency Management Arrangements includes the identification of a local recovery coordinator and inclusion of a Local Recovery Plan.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary for the State Government to have an increased level of involvement. This higher-level coordination operates only to ensure that the affected community has equitable and appropriate access to available resources.

A key objective of the Recovery function is to ensure that any State Government involvement occurs with full consultation and cooperation with the local government, and the management of recovery remains the responsibility of the affected local government/s.

​Communication in Recovery

The Recovery function supports the National Principles for Disaster Recovery in Australia regarding effective recovery communication processes.

An important principle to be considered is that people will not tolerate being without the information they need, therefore communication processes are critical to effective recovery.

In the absence of accurate, trustworthy information, people will actively seek it out through their own resources, and if they cannot obtain information they will fill the gap with rumour and speculation.

The Recovery function is to provide effective communications that include accurate and up-to-date information about estimated losses, assistance programs and financial assistance packages. This ensures that any information relayed to the affected community or the media is accurate.


Donations, volunteers and goodwill management

Where possible, during a disaster all offers/requests for spontaneous volunteers and spontaneous donations of goods and services with recovery activities should be coordinated through the Local Recovery Coordination Group to avoid duplication of effort. Appeals for donations of physical items such as food and furniture should be discouraged unless specifically requested.

The Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund is the recognised state emergency fund to provide relief to those affected by natural disasters in WA, as the money raised goes directly to those affected (with no administrative charges).

​The core principle for effective management of spontaneous volunteers/donations/goods and services is that the people affected by the emergency are the first priority.​