Weather satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The Australian Government supports states and territories when responding to significant domestic crises. PM&C facilitated the whole-of-government coordination of the preparation for and response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The Department worked with Emergency Management Australia, Attorney-General's Department, throughout the event. Nine Australian Government Crisis Committee (AGCC) meetings were convened to plan, coordinate and monitor the significant Commonwealth contribution (daily from 27 March to 3 April and again on 5 April). The AGCC is the mechanism that brings together all relevant Australian Government agencies, primarily in response to domestic crises. The AGCC meetings identified the Commonwealth support required by New South Wales and Queensland authorities and allowed agencies to work together when requesting assistance. Following the event, PM&C conducted a lessons-learned process with AGCC members to capture areas for improvement to enhance future responses to crises.
The Department provided twice-daily updates to the Prime Minister's Office on the progression of the cyclone and the activities that the Australian, Queensland and New South Wales governments undertook in response. PM&C also provided briefings on significant developments during the response phase. This ensured the Prime Minister remained up-to-date on the evolving crisis and, in turn, was able to provide public information about the situation through his speeches and interviews.