Role statement - Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) brings 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 their 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.


Critical task alignment / activity source



The Department of Home Affairs contributes to the funding and/or supports 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


In March 2020, COAG also agreed to a new National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction. The new National Partnership Agreement will support the Framework and provide $104.4 million for states and territories to deliver state and local risk reduction initiatives over five years. This is in addition to $26.1 million that the Commonwealth will be investing in nationally significant projects

1.3, 1.4


Critical Infrastructure Centre works across all levels of government, and with owners and operators to identify and manage the risks to Australia’s critical infrastructure

1.1, 1.3, 3.2


Response (including Relief)


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

1.1, 3.2, 4.3


EMA has a central role in co-ordinating the Australian Government response under the COMDISPLAN to emergencies in support of the states and territories

3.1, 3.2


EMA operates the Australian Government Crisis Co-ordination 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 co-ordination of physical assistance requested by a state under 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 works in partnership with Commonwealth departments, state and territory governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, governments of other countries, and multilateral organisations in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters. The Department also works in close partnership with Australia’s science agencies, the BoM, Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO





Through various funding programs, the Commonwealth provides financial assistance to state and territory governments, individuals and organisations in preparing for, and recovering from, bushfires

15.4, 20.3


EMA administers the DRFA on behalf of the Australian Government. Under this program, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to the state and territory governments to help them with the costs associated with certain disaster relief and recovery assistance measures

15.4, 20.3


EMA also administers 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.