If Bigger Australian States have DISPLANs, What do Smaller States Have?

If search engine results are anything to go by, state-wide disaster plans are common currency for the largest Australian states in terms of population (New South Wales and Victoria), but not so much in evidence for others. NSW even goes one better with not just a DISPLAN, but also an EMPLAN – Emergency Plan (the Victoria DISPLAN states that the one plan does both jobs). How then do Queensland, Western Australia and the other states respond to the need to be prepared for disasters and to insure organisational continuity?

It seems there are two approaches that states use for fulfilling their responsibilities. One is to reference legislation relating to standards of services to be provided. Laws quoted in this context include:

  • The Public Health Act 2005
  • Disaster Management Act 2003
  • Health Services Act 1991
  • Financial Administration and Audit Act 1977
  • Financial Management Standard 1997
  • Public Safety Preservation Act 1986
  • Radiation Safety Act 1999
  • Local Government Act 1989
  • Emergency Management Act 1986

Another is to make disaster plans and business continuity plans that are specific to a certain public sector. Queensland for example quotes the following documents for its Public Health department:

  • Queensland Health Integrated Risk Management Policy (QHEPS 13355)
  • Queensland Health Information Security Policy (QHEPS 3485)
  • Queensland Health Information Security Standard 9 – Business Continuity management (QHEPS 23724)
  • Queensland Health Disaster Plan 2002
  • State Health Emergency Response Plan (SHERP).

However, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, other generally applicable resources are also available as the list (courtesy of various NSW Government webpages) below indicates:

  • Australian National Audit Office Business Continuity Management. Building resilience in public sector entities. Better Practice Guide June 2009
  • Standards Australia Risk Management Standard AS/NZ ISO 31000:2009
  • Standards Australia Business Continuity Standard AS/NZS 5050:2010
  • Standards Australia Business Continuity Management Handbook HB 221:2004
  • Standards Australia A Practitioners Guide to Business Continuity Management HB 292-2006
  • Standards Australia Executive Guide to Business Continuity Management HB 293 -2006

We wish you all happy holiday reading!