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Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management

The Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM):

  • promotes a coordinated national response to law enforcement and emergency management issues
  • provides a framework for cooperation and shared strategic directions for the policing and emergency services of Australia and New Zealand
  • encourages and shares best practice in police policy and operations, and in emergency management, across jurisdictions.

Under rearrangements to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) council system in February 2011, SCPEM replaced two previously separate councils: the Ministerial Council on Police and Emergency Management - Police (MCPEMP) and the Ministerial Council on Police and Emergency Management - Emergency Management (MCPEM-EM).


These include:

  • law enforcement such as police powers, criminal offences and the sharing of intelligence
  • advancement of the professionalism of policing
  • national leadership on emergency management (all hazards) and disaster resilience, including national policies and priorities
  • consideration of an annual Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment presented by the Chair of the Australian Crime Commission Board.

SCPEM is also responsible for the following bodies:

SCPEM priority issues

  • progressing the national response to organised crime, including illicit drugs
  • progressing a national response to cyber crime
  • improving cross-jurisdictional law enforcement cooperation and planning - including law enforcement systems
  • coordinating national initiatives to address alcohol, public safety and serious crime - including alcohol-fuelled violence, road safety and child protection
  • increasing the resilience of individuals and communities to the impacts of disasters by undertaking and supporting initiatives that are designed to encourage all sectors of the Australian community to take responsibility for mitigating the effects of disasters-including implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience
  • consideration of recommendations of national interest from significant commissions of inquiry into natural disasters, including inquiries into the recent floods in Queensland and Victoria, and bushfires in Western Australia.

Terms of reference

Composition and chairing arrangements

SCPEM members are:

  • ministers responsible for Police and Emergency Management from the Australian government, state and territory governments, and from New Zealand
  • an Australian local government association representative.

SCPEM has a rotating chair. The Northern Territory is the chair and host of meetings in 2013.

Frequency of meetings

SCPEM has two scheduled meetings per year. Special meetings are called as required. Some SCPEM business is also handled out-of-session.

Associated meetings of officials

SCPEM is supported by two senior official committees - the National Policing Senior Officers Group and the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee.

National Policing Senior Officer Group

The National Policing Senior Officers Group (NPSOG) meets at least twice a year before the SCPEM meetings. The NPSOG supports SCPEM on policing and justice-related matters, in particular those articulated as priorities of national significance under the SCPEM Terms of Reference. NPSOG also considers new or emerging issues of national significance in law enforcement prior to being elevated to SCPEM Ministers. Chairing rotates among the heads of the police services in line with chairing arrangements for SCPEM.

NPSOG comprises:

  • police commissioners (or equivalent) of the states and territories, New Zealand and the Australian Federal Police
  • Secretary, Victorian Department of Justice
  • Chief Executive Officer, NSW Ministry of Police and Emergency Services
  • Director-General, ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Chief Executive Officer, SA Attorney-General's Department and Department of Justice
  • Deputy Secretary, National Security and Criminal Justice Group, Australian Attorney-General’s Department
  • Chief Executive Officer, Australian Crime Commission.

Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee

The Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC) works to strengthen disaster resilience by providing strategic leadership on emergency management policy and supporting related capability and capacity development activities.

The ANZEMC meets twice yearly, and holds additional meetings as required.

The ANZEMC is co-chaired by the Secretary of this department and the Deputy National Security Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

ANZEMC Members are:

Secretariat arrangements

We provide the secretariat for SCPEM, NP-SOG and ANZEMC.

Contact details are:

SCPEM Secretariat
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit


Policing inquiries

Call: 02 6141 2753

Fax: 02 6141 2871

Emergency management inquiries

Call: 02 6141 2775

Fax: 02 6141 2873