Emergency planning and response

An emergency is when:

  • a marine pest is found in a new area
  • it is likely to significantly affect the environment, economy, amenity, or human health.

In these cases, we have to act fast and coordinate our efforts.

Learn about the roles in biosecurity planning and response. Watch the video.

Transcript - Biosecurity Basics - Biosecurity role (docx 22KB)

Roles and responsibilities

We provide data and nationally-agreed planning resources. This supports a fast and effective response.

Responsibilities for managing a marine pest emergency:

  • Local response — affected state and territory governments.
  • National coordination — Consultative Committee on Introduced Marine Pest Emergencies (CCIMPE).


We develop and maintain a national Emergency Marine Pest Plan (EMPPlan).

The EMPPlan is a set of rapid response manuals. Each manual details options for emergency planning and response actions.

Download the rapid response manuals.

The EMPPlan is informed by the Biosecurity Incident Management System.

Control plans

We maintain a series of national control plans for marine pests.

There are 6 documents. Each provides a nationally-agreed plan to prevent, control and manage a particular marine pest.

Download national control plans.

National agreement

Emergency response arrangements are established under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement.

​It applies to any biosecurity incident that will:

  • affect the environment or social amenity
  • where the response is for the public benefit.

The methodology to guide responses to marine pest incursions under the NEBRA provides:

  • guidelines for developing a benefit-cost analysis in the context of response to a marine pest incursion
  • consistent format and content for a benefit-cost analysis.