Public health emergencies can be caused by events which impact on public health or events that can potentially overwhelm the health-system.

For example, a highly infectious disease spreading through the community, health impacts arising from emergencies (for example smoke from a major fire or waterborne diseases during a flood), and any mass casualty situations or weather-related events such as thunderstorm asthma.

Examples of significant public health emergencies include the Victoria’s thunderstorm asthma event of 21–22 November 2016, and the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Publish year Assurance activity Summary Organisation
2021 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Progress Report 2020 (External link) An assessment of progress in implementing recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015–16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry reports. In this report IGEM monitors 11 government actions and 1 recommendation that were reported as ongoing in 2019. The report finds that some actions are close to completion, and others involve complex legislative reforms that require time to fully implement. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2021 COVID-19 procurements and deployments of the National Medical Stockpile (External link) An audit examining whether COVID-19 procurements to increase the national medical stockpile (NMS) were consistent with the proper use and management of public resources and whether COVID-19 deployments of the NMS were effective.
Key findings were that the procurement processes for the COVID-19 NMS procurements were largely consistent with the proper use and management of public resources, inconsistent due diligence checks of suppliers impacted on procurement effectiveness and record keeping could have been improved and that due to a lack of performance measures, targets and data, the effectiveness of COVID-19 NMS deployments cannot be established.
Australian National Audit Office
2021 More than a band-aid: Emergency relief in Victoria (External link) An overview of Victoria's emergency relief sector, drawn from existing research and consultation with emergency relief organisation. The report examines the impacts of the pandemic on the emergency relief sector, and on demand and provision of food relief – as well as the policy responses from both Australian and Victorian governments. The report provides a range of recommendations for both governments to help prevent people falling into financial crisis, and to strengthen the emergency relief sector for the benefit of those who do. Victorian Council of Social Service
2021 Inquiry into the Victorian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Report (External link) The second report reflecting the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the responses taken by the Victorian Government up until the end of December 2020. The report finds a number of issues—pandemic preparedness, infection rates, contact tracing, economic consequences and increased pressure on the Victorian community services sector. Parliament of Victoria
2020 National Contact Tracing Review (External link) An examination of COVID-19 contact tracing and outbreak management systems and processes in all states and territories. The report found significant improvements to systems and processes over the course of the pandemic but identified areas for further improvement. It also proposed an optimal contact tracing and outbreak management system for states and territories to evaluate performance against. Australian Government
2020 Inquiry into the Victorian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Interim Report (External link) A review of the responses taken by the Victorian Government, including as part of the National Cabinet, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic; and any other matter related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parliament of Victoria
2020 Inquiry into the Victorian Government's COVID-19 Contact Tracing System and Testing Regime (External link) A report into to the capacity and fitness for purpose of Victoria's contact tracing system and testing regime, it found that the use of manual data entry processes at the beginning of the pandemic was not fit to deal with any escalation of cases and led to significant error. The report recommended enhancing the public health system towards a more decentralised, community-based approach. Parliament of Victoria
2020 COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry Final Report and Recommendations (External link) An inquiry established due to the link between the second wave of COVID-19 cases and the outbreaks from the Hotel Quarantine Program. This final report finds that there were serious failings, in terms of provision of pandemic planning across the broader Victorian health sector and is to be read in conjunction with the interim report. Board of Inquiry into the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Program
2020 COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry Interim Report and Recommendations (External link) An interim report identifying issues emerging from the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry prior to the delivery of the final report and makes recommendations for a Quarantine Program in Victoria as the Victorian Government considers re-opening to international arrivals. Board of Inquiry into the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Program
2020 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2019 (External link) An assessment of progress in implementing recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015–16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry reports. In this report IGEM extended its reporting to include effectiveness monitoring of three completed actions, which provided further assurance that implemented actions have achieved their objectives. Inspector-General for Emergency Management