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Report on Government Services 2019


D Emergency management

Main aims of services within the sector

Emergency management services aim to reduce the risks of and the adverse effects from emergency events on individuals, communities and the environment.1 An emergency event is one that endangers or threatens to endanger life, property and/or the environment, and requires a significant and coordinated response, for example, fires, rescues, medical emergencies and natural disasters.

Services included in the sector

  • Fire services
    Prepare for, prevent, respond to and assist recovery from fire and other events.
  • State and Territory emergency services
    Largely volunteer organisations that respond to and provide assistance during and after emergency events.
  • Ambulance services organisations
    Provide emergency patient response, care and transport.
  • Other services with some emergency management responsibilities but not included in reporting for this sector in this Report:
    • Hospital emergency departments — services include preparing for and responding to emergency events (chapter 12 in this Report)
    • Police services — services related to preserving public order and responding to, managing and coordinating major incidents and emergencies (chapter 6 in this Report)
    • Marine and lifesaving rescue and coast guard organisations (not included as service-specific chapters in this Report).

Detailed information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of service provision and the achievement of outcomes for fire services and State and Territory Emergency Services (STES), ambulance services, public hospitals (including emergency departments), ambulance services and police services is contained in the service-specific chapters in this Report.

Government expenditure in the sector

Total government expenditure in 2017-18 for fire and STES services was $4.4 billion, around 1.9 per cent of total government expenditure on services covered in this Report. Fire services was the largest contributor (94.8 per cent), followed by STES (5.2 per cent) (table D.1).

Table D.1 Government expenditure, fire and STES organisations, 2017-18 ($ million)a,b
Fire services 1 103.4 1 448.8 664.3 418.6 312.4 95.3 90.0 59.5 4 192.2
STES 108.3 64.8 19.3 na 23.8 5.1 3.5 4.1 228.9
Totalc 1 211.7 1 513.6 683.6 na 336.3 100.3 93.5 63.6 4 421.1

na Not available.

a Totals may not add as a result of rounding. b Caveats for fire services and STES organisations expenditure data are available in chapter 9 and attachment 9A. c Total of jurisdictions where data are available.

Source: State and Territory governments (unpublished); tables 9A.16 and 9A.20.

Ambulance services expenditure is reported in the Health sector overview


  1. Emergency Management Australia 1998, Australian Emergency Terms Thesaurus, Australian Emergency Manuals Series, Australian Government, Canberra. Locate Footnote 1 above

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