COAG noted the Ministerial Council on Police and Emergency Management – Emergency Management report on the progress of developing a nationally-consistent, telephone-based community emergency warning system. A nationally-consistent community emergency warning system will enhance the current capability to provide timely and accurate warnings in the event of emergencies, and provide useful information and advice on individual and community responses. COAG has requested that all remaining tasks, including a cost-benefit analysis, be completed by the end of 2008.
From: Communiqué, COAG, 2 October 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Australian Emergency Warning System
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has "noted" a report on developing a nationally-consistent, telephone-based community emergency warning system. Unfortunately the report does not appear to have been made public and there appears to be no plan to implement a system, just do a cost-benefit analysis. Australian state and federal governments have an ad-hoc collection of emergency communications which have been shown to be ineffective in emergencies. There are some alternatives, which I discussed with Turkey's earthquake centre. The Prime Minister and other COAG members need to keep in mind that in the event of a major disaster they can be held criminally liable for deaths resulting from their failure to implement a warning system.