Emergency action plan approval process

You can use the emergency action plan (EAP) guideline and templates when preparing plans.

Why a plan is required

An EAP is required to minimise the risk of harm to persons or property if a referable dam were to fail.

Such risks can arise from a range of scenarios, including:

  • significant dam releases or outflows which would risk the safety of persons or property
  • failure of elements of the dam
  • failure of the complete dam.

An EAP also ensures that protocols and procedures are in place so that dam owners, local governments and disaster management groups can:

  • coordinate emergency responses
  • issue notifications and warnings for people downstream of a referable dam.

When an emergency event has occurred, dam owners must provide an emergency event report that includes relevant details and appropriate further actions.

Local review

You must submit your EAP to each potentially affected local government and each district disaster management group for review before you submit an EAP to the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water for approval.

Each local government will provide the dam owner with a written notice identifying any aspects of the draft emergency action plan that are inconsistent with their local disaster management plan.

The chairperson of each district disaster management group may also provide the dam owner with a similar notice. The dam owner has the opportunity to respond in writing to these notices.


When submitting the EAP to the department for assessment and approval, you must provide a copy of any written notices received from the local government(s) or disaster management group(s) stating that the EAP has been assessed for consistency with the relevant disaster management plan(s).

Applications to renew an existing EAP must be submitted 2 months before the EAP expires.

Submit your EAP by email to damsafety@rdmw.qld.gov.au or via the Dam Safety Regulator upload portal (registered users only).

Assessment and approval

The department will assess your plan within 30 business days of receiving the EAP and notice.

We will consider:

  • consistency with the legislative requirements, including each notice given by the local government or the district disaster management group and any notice responses by the dam owner
  • any relevant disaster management standards under the Disaster Management Act 2003 and the principles of the Standard for Disaster Management in Queensland (PDF, 3.4MB)
  • dam safety industry standards
  • suitability for the level of risk and number of persons at risk associated with the dam, including:
    • identified dam hazards, dam failure modes, dam hazard events and/or emergency events
    • stated roles and responsibilities of all parties in the implementation of the EAP (response actions)
    • population at risk and relevant entity contact and emergency notification details
    • warnings and communication polygons, communication modes, triggers and pre-formatted wording for each dam hazard event or emergency event, including priority order in which the persons or categories of persons are to be warned
    • appropriate flood and evacuation maps
    • appropriate dam technical data
    • demonstrated effectiveness of the plan (i.e. evidence that the plan has undergone testing and dam personnel have received implementation training).

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