​Western Australia is subject to a variety of hazards that have the potential to cause loss of life, damage and destruction. Every year, any one or more of these hazards may impose substantial costs on communities. Examples include:

  • ​​​​Damage to residential, commercial, educational, and recreational buildings
  • Damage to infrastructure
  • Damage to stock, equipment and facilities
  • Indirect losses through disruption of economic activity
  • Stress and anxiety in affected areas
  • Injury and death
  • Polluted environments
  • Damage to ecosystem and wildlife habitats.

​Each of these hazards is covered by a Westplan that outlines the arrangements, responsibilities and procedures in place for multiagency, coordinated responses.    


Ai​r ​​​​​cr​​a​​sh​​​

​Wor​ldwide aviation incidents are a regular occurrence. Fortunately, disasters are less frequent but have far more devastating impacts. Major aviation events during 2014 and 2015 have highlighted the impact of the loss of a commercial airliner. Responding to an air disaster will certainly require a coordinated response and recovery capability. ​​

Animal or plant: pests or diseases​

Agriculture is a major industry within Western Australi​a. Protecting biosecurity is a critical part of the State Government’s efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from the impact of pests, diseases and contaminants on Western Australian agriculture, fisheries, forestry and the environment.

B​​iological substance

​The lis​t of agents that can cause a HAZMAT mass casualty incident ranges from toxic commercial chemicals, biological materials and radiological substances (CBR), including types of these traditionally used in warfare. The release may be accidental or deliberate, arising from production or consumption within the community or through acts of terrorism.​

Chemical substance

Hazardous materials are widely used and transported throughout Western Australia. Wherever they are used, there is a risk of an emergency occurring. HAZMAT items may include explosives, compres​​sed gases, corrosive substances, poisons, radioactive materials, infectious substances and flammable liquids and gases.​

​Co​ll​ap​​​se (cliff/landform & building) ​

​The collapse of built infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, or subsurface commercial operations is a real risk within Western Australia. These can be caused by natural events, mismanage​ment or a malicious act and would likely involve a coordinated response.


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​On average, Western Australia experiences five large-scale cyclone events that threaten the coastline each year. Two of these cyclones cr​oss the coastline, one at high intensity, causing damage and affecting communities. The impact these will have depends upon where the crossing occurs. The coastal regions of northern Western Australia are at greatest risk of cyclones between November and April.

Earthquake - 

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​Western Australia has experienced at least one significant earthquake each decade since Federation. Earthquakes of Richter or local magnitude (ML) 4.0 or greater are relatively common and occur about every five years in the south-west Seismic Zone, which includes the main population centres of the state. The 1968 Meckering earthquake measured 6.9.

Electri​​city ​​sup​ply​ disruption​

​Western Australia is heavily reliant upon power bo​th for industry and for use by the general population. Disruption of supply in a widespread manner or for an extended period is a major hazard in its own right. These outages can be caused by other hazard events such as storms or cyclones, or by malicious act or accident.

​Fire (bushfire & structural)

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Each year in Western Australia, thousands of fires occur that destroy or damage houses, sheds, garages, commercial and industrial buildings, vehicles and vast areas of bushland. Some of these become critical events, subject to size, location and/​or prevailing weather conditions.