LEMA Improvement Program June 2024 update

Public notice
Since late 2023, the LEMA Improvement Program has made significant progress. Explore the Program’s key achievements and next steps.
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LEMA Improvement Program June 2024 update

Building a more resilient Western Australia

A lot has happened since the end of 2023, and the team has made significant strides to progress the Local Emergency Management Arrangements (LEMA) Improvement Program. Read on to hear about the key activities and the next steps.

Setting the scene

Building on the previous work of the LEMA Review, the LEMA Improvement Program will continue working toward a more capable and resilient community, through a local approach to emergency management.

To deliver on the commitment to a sector-led LEMA improvement process, the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) is partnering with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) on behalf of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC).

WALGA will collaborate with local government, making sure the sector is consulted, and their feedback guides the reform of local emergency management.

Natural and other disasters are increasing in complexity, scale, and frequency, with cascading and compounding effects. This is driving rapid change in the Western Australian emergency management sector, as it grapples with managing this risk and meeting community expectations. The LEMA Improvement Program will implement changes to address these challenges and support a more contemporary approach, delivering:

  • more fit-for-purpose LEMA
  • streamlined LEMA processes and new practices that will encourage currency
  • increased stakeholder knowledge of LEMA to enhance community resilience
  • help for local governments who lack emergency management resources
  • improved effectiveness of LEMA as a communication tool.

Key activities

The SEMC’s endorsement of the Program Management Plan for the LEMA Improvement Program in December 2023 enabled the Program to get underway.

Multiple projects form the Program, which will be undertaken in phases. Phase 1 – comprising two projects – has commenced, with the following activities completed or in progress:

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between WALGA and DFES
  • Pilot program development initiated
  • New local government emergency management policy lead recruited
  • Governance structures established (Program Board, Advisory Group, Working Group).

LEMA Requirements for Local Governments

Local governments are essential players in WA’s emergency preparedness, providing expert knowledge about their communities and environments. Capturing this local knowledge through contemporary LEMA is a key part of the SEMC’s oversight of emergency management arrangements and capability in Western Australia, contributing to a better-prepared, safer, and more resilient Western Australia.

Until the reform of LEMA, if your local government's LEMA is scheduled for review, you should proceed as planned to maintain your obligations under the Emergency Management Act 2005.

Consult your local District Emergency Management Advisor for help and information about reviewing your LEMA.

Next steps

In the coming months, the Program boards and groups will meet regularly to review LEMA Improvement Program proposals and outputs and provide advice and guidance to the Program team.

The project leads for DFES and WALGA Phase 1, will work closely to ensure that:

  • consultation is coordinated
  • the updated LEMA process is tested appropriately with local governments
  • the new LEMA processes align with existing State emergency management policy documents.

Another update will be provided later in 2024.

Keep up to date

Read about the latest developments and activities of the LEMA Improvement Program by visiting the SEMC website or the WALGA website.