Mitigate the impact of public health emergencies

Local governments are key players in the State’s emergency management arrangements and provide expert knowledge about their communities and environments.

It is local government’s role to ensure that local emergency management arrangements are prepared and maintained, as well as to manage recovery after an emergency.

Under section 38 of the Emergency Management Act 2005, a local government is required to establish one or more Local Emergency Management Committees (external site) (LEMCs) for the local government’s district. However, local governments may unite for the purposes of emergency management and establish one or more LEMC for their combined districts. The LEMC is to be managed and chaired by the local government, with representation from organisations and agencies that play a key role in emergency management within their district.

Public health considerations

Ongoing review and improvement of planned responses help to minimise the impact of public health emergencies on the community. 

As part of this process local governments should give consideration to:

  • Minimising the impact of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease transmission following extreme weather events (eg. heavy rains, flooding, tidal storm surges);
  • Liaising with other government agencies for emergency disaster response (e.g. after bushfires, cyclones, sewage spills, etc.) to provide for temporary drinking water facilities, signage for sewage spills or media release for environmental water contaminations;
  • Undertaking onsite food safety investigations related to foodborne disease incidents and outbreaks within jurisdiction.
  • Assessing local health impacts of climate change and appropriate adaptation strategies that may need to be adopted 

Useful resources