SEMP Earthquake Sub-plan


This plan outlines the Victorian arrangements for managing earthquake events across all emergency management phases. It replaces the State Earthquake Sub-Plan V 1.1 published in February 2023. 

The plans’ purpose is to provide sources of information and outline the arrangements for an integrated and coordinated approach to the state’s management of earthquake events.  The aim is to reduce the impact and consequences of these events on community, infrastructure, and services.  


Victoria’s state-level emergency risk assessment, Emergency Risks in Victoria, was published in 2020 and sets out Victoria’s emergency risk profile. Earthquakes were assessed as a state significant risk, meaning significant earthquakes were assessed as being a critical and credible scenario for the state. 

In alignment with the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP), this plan outlines the current arrangements, roles and responsibilities for:

  • earthquake mitigation
  • preparedness
  • response (including relief) ,and
  • recovery. 

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) on behalf of the Emergency Management Commissioner (EMC) coordinated the development of this plan in conjunction with stakeholders including, but not limited to: 

  • Ambulance Victoria (AV)
  • Australian Red Cross
  • Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Department of Education (DE)
  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)
  • Department of Health (DH)
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)
  • Department of Government Services (DGS), including Local Government Victoria
  • Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR)
  • Department of Transport and Planning (DTP)
  • Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV)
  • Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
  • Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)
  • Geoscience Australia (GA)
  • Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC)
  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Victoria Police 


This plan acknowledges the often-concurrent emerging threats and their consequences of earthquakes, including: 

  • landslides
  • water surges and tsunami
  • water storages and water supply
  • wastewater services
  • gas and electricity
  • transport
  • health
  • telecommunication service disruptions.

The scope of this plan includes:

  • The description of potential risks and consequences of earthquakes to the social, built, economic, and natural environments.
  • The policy and programs in place to mitigate these risks before, during, and after an earthquake event.
  • The positions with accountability and the agencies responsible for managing specific strategies.
  • The multi-agency management arrangements at the national, state, regional and local levels.
  • Links to sources of information where the reader can obtain further detail.

References are made to the SEMP where necessary to avoid duplication. It does not include detail about the operational activities of individual agencies. 


This plan recognises that for emergency management and supporting communities to be safer and more resilient, it is the shared responsibility of all Victorians, not just the emergency management sector.  

The audience for this plan comprises the Victorian Government and agencies within the emergency management sector, including business, industry and community groups with a significant role in the mitigation of, response to, and recovery from earthquakes. 

How to read this plan

This plan should be read in conjunction with the SEMP

Linkages and hyperlinks 

This plan refers to a range of existing resources relating to earthquakes, including documents and websites. This plan does not seek to duplicate the information contained in these resources, and instead provides links to where the reader can obtain further information.

For more operational or sensitive information a log-in may be required, such as for documents saved on the Emergency Management Common Operating Picture (EM-COP) (External link), including Joint Standard Operating Procedures (JSOPs).

Documents or resources that are referred to frequently throughout this plan (such as the SEMP) are not hyperlinked in each instance.

All hyperlinks were accurate at time of publication, and the currency of the linked content remains the responsibility of the host agency.

Consequence management

Secondary consequences for earthquake can be complex and compounding. The arrangements for managing consequences of earthquake are contained in relevant SEMP Sub-Plans (External link), including, but not limited to:

Where necessary, VICSES has prepared Regional Earthquake Emergency Plans (RESEP), and Municipal Earthquake Emergency Management Plans (MFEPs). These plans can be found via the VICSES website (External link)

In the case of a concurrent emergency (for example, COVID-19 or an energy disruption), the arrangements detailed in this plan may need to be adjusted as required. 

Download the SEMP Earthquake Sub-plan

Date of Publication


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