The National Emergency Management Agency Established

On 1 September 2022, the new National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established to strengthen Australia’s preparedness, response and recovery from disasters.

NEMA logo

The Australian Government has combined the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and Emergency Management Australia, to create a single, enduring, end-to-end agency to better respond to emergencies, help communities recover and prepare Australia for future natural hazard events.

Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management, spoke about the benefits of the new agency.

“Previously Australia’s disaster response and recovery agencies were kept separate, but the new, single agency will provide end-to-end support,” said Minister Watt.

“NEMA will also drive long-term resilience and preparedness, which is increasingly important in the face of longer and more intense natural disasters due to climate change,” said Minister Watt.

To help communities respond and recover, while preparing Australia for future emergencies, NEMA:

  • funds programs and initiatives, big and small, that help communities in times of emergency, as well as to recover and prepare, including through disaster recovery funding and the Disaster Ready Fund to help reduce the risk and impact of disasters
  • works with communities, industry and NGOs by connecting local Recovery Support Officers and other NEMA staff right around Australia, to share lessons learnt, provide awareness on navigating government services, and gain community and industry-led ideas and concepts to inform strategic policy and planning
  • gives national leadership to share knowledge, situational awareness, and trends in disaster efforts to inform, guide and shape the national picture and decision-making at the Commonwealth, state and local government level – including through policy development and strategy to improve risk reduction, resilience and recovery
  • provides round-the-clock all-hazards monitoring and operational coordination for domestic and international emergencies, including supply chain disruptions, critical infrastructure outages, biosecurity risks and widespread cyber-attacks, and through supporting preparedness and response activities, including through the operationalisation of the AGCMF

As well as costing lives and livelihoods, disasters cost Australia $38 billion per year on average, with the cost estimated to reach at least $73 billion per year by 2060, even with lower emissions.

Through NEMA, Australia will be better prepared to respond to the impacts of disasters and reduce their lasting impact. Communities will be better prepared for disasters and better supported for long term recovery.

Learn more here.