The Department of Finance – Public Utilities Office prepares and maintains emergency response plans for gas and liquid fuel supply disruptions in Western Australia.
After two separate gas supply disruptions in 2008, the WA Government took steps to improve WA’s energy security. This included amending the Emergency Management Regulations 2006 in 2010, to appoint the Coordinator of Energy as WA’s hazard management agency for supply disruptions.
Purpose of a hazard management agency
A hazard management agency is the public authority or person responsible for a particular aspect of emergency management. The Coordinator of Energy’s role is to ensure a continuous supply of fuel or gas to essential users and distribution networks. Under the Coordinator of Energy’s leadership, the Public Utilities Office develops and maintains strategic and operational plans for managing supply disruptions, and carries out annual test exercises.
WA’s emergency response plans
In 2010, The WA Government established a Gas Emergency Planning Committee and a State Fuel Emergency Management Committee (with key industry and government stakeholders) to help develop response plans.
The State Emergency Management Committee endorsed the following Westplans in 2011.Emergency Management Western Australia oversaw and had input into the Westplans to ensure they complied with the Emergency Management Act 2005.
National emergency response plans
National liquid fuel emergencies
The National Oil Supplies Emergency Committee manages the National Liquid Fuel Emergency Response Plan for a widespread nationally or internationally led fuel shortage. This ensures that during a shortage, the available fuel supply is allocated in the most fair and efficient way to minimise impacts on fuel users and customers. WA, as a jurisdictional representative on the Committee, has endorsed this Plan along with other States and Territories.
National gas emergencies
The National Gas Emergency Response Advisory Committee produced the National Gas Emergency Response Protocol in 2005. This response plan covers gas supply shortages in two or more jurisdictions with interconnected gas supply networks. The Public Utilities Office is a member of this committee, but as WA’s gas distribution systems are not connected to any others this Plan has no direct impact on the state.