In the aftermath of the recent State Mine Fire in the Blue Mountains, my team at UOW revisited interview participants who were initially interviewed mid-2013 on their preparedness for bushfire. During one interview, a participant vented his frustration with police orders to evacuate his property, as he was well-prepared to face the fire. Having always been under the impression that Australia does not have a ‘mandatory evacuation’ policy in place, I firstly asked if this is correct? This entry was posted in Human geography, Postcards from the field and tagged fieldwork, fire, history by Christine Eriksen. Dr Christine Eriksen is a social geographer focusing on the ways people learn, communicate, and engage with social and environmental uncertainty in everyday life.
You work here sounds like something of interest to the IAG’s Legal Geography study group. When the WA Emergency Act came in to force the potential of substantial fine for not complying to a lawful direction was a contentious point of debate in the public. Refer to EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ACT 2005 – SECT 67 and also penalties for not complying.
While legislation clearly plays an important role in emergency situations, mass evacuation is deeply problematic in my opinion, as it disempowers capable people to act on local knowledge. About this blogWelcome to this blog, written by a variety of authors in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER).
Best efforts are made to keep the information in this blog up to date, however we can?t guarantee this - see UOW Disclaimer All blog users - both authors and those using the comments function - must abide by Acceptable Use of IT policy. Unfortunately, natural disasters are a fact of life, and some communities in Australia are more affected than others.
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Meticulous preparation and planning for disaster recovery is vital, and adherence to the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act (1989) (the Act) is paramount.
Nemesis provides consultancy services to relevant Commonwealth, State and Local Government agencies on the Act and its requirements.
For more information on Nemesisa€™ Preparation and Planning please use our online enquiries form or call us on 1300 1 NEMESIS (1300 1 63637). Nemesis has substantial experience in the co-ordination of recovery efforts and assisting communities in regaining confidence in the aftermath of natural disasters.
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The State Mine Fire provided a unique opportunity to investigate if their preparations withstood the attack. There is indeed a clear official distinction between US and AUS evacuation policies, however, the distinction isn’t that clear cut amongst US residents living in high-fire-danger areas, as my work in California shows. Michael Eburn has been very proactive in clarifying the vagaries with which many emergency services operations in such circumstances.
There is of course different levels of local knowledge amongst the very diverse members of communities living in bushfire-prone areas today. This provides structure to response and recovery management, minimises risk to rescue personnel and ensures that affected communities receive the best support possible.

This was evidenced in our role as Regional Emergency Recovery Co-ordinator in the 2009 flood recovery effort on the Mid and Far North coast of NSW. For any in depth products or services provided by Nemesis Consultancy Group, consultation should be conducted in the first instance with one of the Groups representatives. The WA Emergency Act in 2005 sought to make the powers less ambiguous however in reality the vexed question of forcing people to leave an area where they which to remain is still unanswered.
Which will be an interesting point for the legal profession if that failure to act with the full powers has a consequence of multiple fatalities.
Nevertheless, Australian law enforcement should not forget the tried and trusted notion of prepared residents being able to assist (nor impair) fire fighting efforts. Critically, holistic recovery arrangements, whilst a separate feature of community confidence, are an important adjunct to the response arrangements provided by the Emergency Services. The information in this website should also be read in conjunction with the terms of use and the privacy statement. Dr Eburn’s insightful and detailed response is available on his blog Australian Emergency Law.
For more information please contact Nemesis Consultancy Group by completing the form on the contact page.
I sought the advice of a barrister and academic colleague at the ANU College of Law, Dr Michael Eburn who specialises in emergency law.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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