About the Symposium

Launch of Emergency Management Victoria’s new strategy: A Modern Emergency Management System for Victoria at the 2nd International Symposium on Disaster Management

On Wednesday, October 14 the Emergency Management Commissioner for Victoria, Craig Lapsley officially launched the document ‘A Modern Emergency Management System for Victoria’ during the keynote session at the 2nd International Symposium on Disaster Management held in Melbourne. Commissioner Lapsley was invited as the keynote speaker for the plenary session on emergency management and first spoke on the vision for emergency management in Victoria and the challenges we face in in disaster situations which require our communities to survive, adapt and grow, before launching the new strategy. The strategy outlines what community resilience is and how this understanding can be used to develop a resilience-based approach to emergency management in the context of Victoria today. To download the document click the link below:
A Modern Emergency Management System for Victoria (PDF 623KB)


During the 21st century the global cost of disaster related damage is estimated to be $2.5 trillion USD. It has also been estimated that 1.2 million people were killed and a further 2.9 billion were affected by disasters between 2000-2012. As a result of these impacts a key area of focus for governments, researchers and public safety officials is disaster risk reduction and disaster management.

The rapid urbanisation of the global population has propelled the emergence of megacities containing populations of more than 10 million people which are placing increasing strains upon infrastructure and resources. As the frequency and intensity of natural disasters increases, especially in the Asia Pacific region disaster risk reduction and disaster management are becoming a complex challenges especially when a natural disaster strikes one of these megacities.

Disaster management is an inherently collaborative process that is supported by legislation, policy and documented plans and procedures to unify the efforts at all levels of government, agencies, organizations and the community. High-quality, multi-disciplinary research forms the evidence base for understanding and developing future approaches towards disaster risk reduction and disaster management.

2015 is a unique period of transition as the major international strategies of Disaster Risk Reduction, Hyogo Framework for Action and the Millennium Development Goals move towards successor frameworks for action. IDSM – Melbourne 2015 aims to convene experts and specialists to create and sustain a platform for networking, exchange and collaboration on future research and development which will have a global impact on national and international approaches towards disaster risk reduction and disaster management.

Responding Literature

  • Frequency of natural disasters globally has risen markedly in recent decades.
  • In 2000s triple the number of major floods than occurred in the 1980s
  • Close to $1 trillion damage caused by natural disasters in Asia since 1990s.
    In the United States:
  • Severe weather caused damages of more than $100 Billion in 2012.
  • On average 1,300 tornadoes each year.
  • 11 tornado outbreaks in 2011-12 each caused damage of more than $1 Billion.
  • Direct disaster losses are at least 50% higher than internationally reported figures.
  • Direct Losses in 40 low and middle income countries amount to $305 Billion in the last 30 years.
  • Global supply chains create new vulnerabilities.
  • Earthquakes and Windstorms cause $180 billion damage per year
  • Wild-land fires cause $190 billion damage per year
  • Natural Disasters cost the Australian Economy $6.3 Billion per year.
  • By the year 2050 the annual cost is estimated to be $23 Billion per annum.
  • Target resilience investment of $250 Million per annum will potentially generate $12.2 Billion in annual budget savings.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 priorities:

  • Understand disaster risk.
  • Strengthen disaster risk governance.
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
  • Enhancing preparedness to ‘Build Back Better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

Five key action pillars:

  • Risk Identification.
  • Risk Reduction.
  • Preparedness.
  • Financial Protection.
  • Resilient Recovery.

Risks in focus:

  • Global risks - the accelerated interplay between Geopolitics and Economics.
  • City Limits – Rapid and unplanned urbanisation in developing countries.
  • Engineering the Future – Balancing the risk and rewards of emerging technologies.

Need to invest in DRM and resilience to secure growth and development.Triple Dividend:

  • Avoid losses and save lives.
  • Protects development and stimulates the economy.
  • Economic, social and environmental co-benefits.