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Putting Location into Crisis Coordination
Russell Hay1 (Presenter), Kane Orr
Geoscience Australia
[email protected]
Executive Summary
Before 2012, the primary source of information for generating whole of government
situational awareness during a crisis to support national level decision making was compiled
from a range of text-based reports supplied by stakeholders. For example, information about
the location and extent of a crisis was assembled in paragraphs or lists leaving the reader to
construct their own ‘mental map’ to interpret the nature of a crisis. Incorporating map-based
products to illustrate the location content described in these reports would provide a new
spatially based contextual framework to assist the consistent interpretation of crises and
enhance product delivery.
The Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) was launched in October
2011. Since then, three government agencies have worked together to develop, test and
implement a spatial capability to better support a coordinated response to disasters requiring
Australian Government assistance. Geoscience Australia (GA), the Australian GeospatialIntelligence Office (AGO), and the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) have been working
together to establish a spatial capability in the CCC which delivers consistent spatial
products to supplement and enhance all-hazards reporting, executive briefings, and incident
and situation awareness reports. The capability has been tested and refined over the past
three years on multiple flood, fire and cyclone events.
The critical success factors underpinning the effectiveness of the new spatial capability in the
CCC is much deeper than simply the supply of maps – it consists of in-house and remote
spatial and natural hazard support provided by GA liaison officers; technical support through
the AGO; collaboration with state and territory spatial emergency services; the
implementation of agreed standards; and the integration of existing commonwealth, state
and territory web services culminating in the development of the National Situation
Awareness Tool (NSAT) and the EMA Exposure Report..