Services Australia

Services Australia operates within the Australian Government Crisis Management Arrangements and in collaboration with State and Territory jurisdictions and with local government to assist disaster-affected communities. Emergency management is a key business priority for Services Australia.

Note: Any emergency relief or recovery activities undertaken by the Services Australia are subject to authorisation from the CEO or delegate. Services Australia will seek cost recovery for activities it undertakes on behalf of another agency or department and such arrangements need to be documented in a formal agreement.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Develop and implement the following plans to assist stakeholders in major emergency mitigation activities:

  • Emergency Management Risk Management Plans – identifies the risks associated with the delivery of the emergency management programme and outlines the proposed mitigation strategies to reduce any identified risk being realised
  • Payment Integrity Risk Management Plans – identifies the risks to the payment integrity of emergency and disaster-related payments and details the treatments to minimise these risks
  • Zone Response and Recovery Plans – each Zone is required to complete a Zone Response and Recovery Plan and describe the actions that will be taken when responding to an emergency event, which may include a natural disaster or national security incident

1.1, 1.3

Detail the processes to engage appropriate and skilled emergency reservists who are able to be deployed for recovery work and provide business continuity and support to affected communities in a timely manner, through the Emergency Reservist Framework

1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2

Train and support:

  • agency Emergency Management Coordinators, Emergency Reservists, Smart Centre and Service Zone staff deployed to emergencies/disasters
  • agency staff taking calls or processing claims received relating to an emergency/disaster event


1.2, 1.4, 1.6



Implement agreements with States, Territories and Commonwealth agencies, and outline the arrangements in place with States, Territories and Commonwealth agencies for the provision of support services if resources are overwhelmed during an emergency. Note: Other agreements outline the arrangements between the department and policy agencies about how they will work together to deliver the best possible services (within their portfolio of responsibility) to the community

1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 3.2, 7.3, 12.4, 14.4

Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Coordinate the response to emergencies through:

  • activation of the National Security Hotline

2.3, 3.5

  • activation and secretariat for the Emergency Response and Recovery Committee
  • activation of National Emergency Call Centre Surge Capability
  • activation of state/territory requests for surge assistance
  • responding to media requests during an activation (jointly and in consultation with the Media Team)
2.1, 2.3, 3.2
  • supporting Service Zones through participation in Zone Emergency Response and Recovery Committee

Participate in outreach services teams on request of DFFH


Develop Situation Reporting for executive staff and the Department of Home Affairs’ Crisis Coordination Centre


Support Emergency Management Liaison Officer (EMLO) including provision of back up support


Provide National Emergency Call Centre surge capacity on behalf of the Victorian Government on a cost recovery basis, under a separate agreement

3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 14.4

Workload management and allocation of all calls and claims received within the agency relating to an emergency/disaster activation

3.2, 3.5

Provide the following services:

  • have staff available with specialist skills (for example social workers, community engagement officers, indigenous service officers) to work with disaster affected individuals and communities in relation to Services Australia payments and services

3.2, 6.1, 14.4, 15.4, 15.5, 20.6

  • participate in the operation of community recovery centres on request of DFFH providing information in relation to Australian Government emergency payments and income support options
4.5, 15.4


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Coordinate response to emergencies through disaster payments such as Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment, Disaster Recovery Allowance and ex gratia assistance 

15.4, 20.3

Disaster event priorities include:

  • continuity of Australian Government payments and services for existing customers
  • provision of information and advice about Australian Government emergency payments and services for affected Australians 
15.4, 20.3, 20.5

Recovery Support Agency (RecSA) to ERV as lead government liaison, in providing Australian Government Disaster Recovery Financial Assistance

Table 15: Recovery coordination: Social environment

Assurance and Learning

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