Role statement - Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

About the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs (the Department of Home Affairs) bring together Australia’s federal law enforcement, national and transport security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs, settlement services and immigration and border-related functions, working together to keep Australia safe, secure, prosperous and united. 

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) is a division of the Department. It is Australia's national government disaster management organisation and its responsibilities span disaster risk reduction, critical incident planning, disaster preparedness, crisis and security management, and disaster recovery. EMA works closely with Victoria, other state and territory emergency management organisations to achieve emergency management objectives. 

State and territory governments have responsibility for coordinating and planning the response to, and recovery from, disasters within jurisdictions. Through EMA, the Australian Government coordinates, collaborates with, and assists the states and territories to improve the overall resilience of Australia, Australians and the things that Australians value.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

The Department of Home Affairs contribute to the funding and/or support several capability development activities, often in partnership with other Australian Government Agencies and the states and territories. Activities include the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, Australian Tsunami Warning System, Bushfire Arson Prevention, Emergency Alert, Australian Medical Assistance Teams and Disaster Assistance Response Teams and the Australian Instituted of Disaster Resilience


EMA is responsible for progressing and implementing national disaster risk reduction policy, in line with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework. The Framework sets the five-year cross-sector foundation from 2019-2023 to address systemic disaster risk and was endorsed by COAG in March 2020

1.1, 1.3

Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

The Counter Terrorism Centre is responsible for counter terrorism strategic policy, counter terrorism operational coordination and evaluation and counter terrorism capability

1.1, 3.2, 4.3

EMA coordinate the Australian Government response under the Australian Government Disaster Response Plan (COMDISPLAN) to emergencies in support of the states and territories

3.1, 3.2

EMA operate the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre, which provides whole-of-government situational awareness and response options to inform national decision-making during a domestic crisis or the domestic implications of an international crisis. This includes the coordination of physical assistance requested by a state under the Australian Government Disaster Response Plan (COMDISPLAN), as well as briefing and support to executive decision-makers in the Australian Government, the State and Territory governments and non‑government agencies

3.2, 3.3, 4.5, 4.6

The Department of Home Affairs work in partnership with Commonwealth departments, state and territory governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, governments of other countries, and multilateral organisations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. The Department of Home Affairs also works in close partnership with Australia’s science agencies, the BoM, Geoscience Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)



Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

The Commonwealth provide financial assistance to state and territory governments, individuals and organisations to prepare for, and recover from, bushfires

15.4, 20.3

EMA administer the DRFA on behalf of the Australian Government, which provides financial assistance to the state and territory governments to assist with the costs of certain disaster relief and recovery assistance measures

15.4, 20.3

EMA administer the Australian Government’s disaster recovery payments, including the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance

15.4, 20.3

Assurance and Learning

For assurance and learning activities, refer directly to the agency for further information.