In Victoria, AEMO operates the Declared Transmission System (DTS) and plays a pivotal role in the management of, response to, and recovery from gas emergencies within Declared systems. The Gas Emergency Protocol consists of a high level set of documents that outline the actions AEMO may take in an emergency and includes:
Levels of gas events and emergencies
A gas event is a situation that threatens the normal operating state of a Declared system. An event may escalate to an emergency as directed by the Victorian Government or where AEMO determines that the response to the threat requires the powers available to the Victorian Government.
Gas events and emergencies are classified into five levels based on industry agreed descriptions:
Level one – site-based : can be dealt with by the site resources without any additional assistance. There is no injury, environmental impacts, or involvement of Emergency Services beyond routine response, there is minimal customer impact.
Level two – operational response, single industry participant: may involve minor injury, have environmental impacts, result in minor loss of
supply, and may have minor business continuity or Information Technology impacts.
Level three – operational and management response, single industry participant: could involve substantial risk of serious injury or death, may have serious environmental impacts, result in serious loss of supply, and may have serious business continuity or Information Technology impacts.
Level four – impacts multiple industry participants: a situation that has escalated to the extent that the impacts are beyond a single distribution company or transmission company. Requiring a co-ordinated response and potentially2 the use of powers available to the Victorian Government.
Level five – system-wide threat, public safety issue, or emergency power invoked by the Victorian Government: a situation that has escalated to the extent that the impacts are widespread or state-wide, normally requiring the use of powers available to the Victorian Government.
Gas industry emergency management structures
Gas Emergency Management Group
The purpose of the Gas Emergency Management Group (GEMG) is to co-ordinate and plan the gas industry’s response to and recovery from an extended gas emergency, normally at Level 4 or 5. The GEMG will provide the principal consultation path between the Government and the gas industry during a gas emergency.
Gas Emergency Management Consultative Forum
The Gas Emergency Management Consultative Forum (GEMCF) is a planning and coordinating forum of industry representatives convened by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and AEMO. The GEMCF considers issues relating to the effective management of emergencies in Victoria.
The GEMCF has no operational role during the response to and recovery from a declared emergency. It reports its activities to the Director of Energy Safety, ESV, the Chief Executive Officer of AEMO, and the CEOs of registered participants (or their representatives).
To describe the holistic, whole of supply chain response in managing a gas emergency, the GEMCF has developed a Fact Sheet. For any questions on the Fact Sheet, please contact AEMO’s Emergency Preparedness Team.
Communications during an emergency
Emergency Management Joint Public Information Committee
The Emergency Management Joint Public Information Committee is a government committee, raised during State emergencies, which comprises senior communications officers from all government agencies and is chaired by either Emergency Management Victoria or the Victorian Police (depending upon the Class of the Emergency).
It is designed to assist with communications by forming and implementing a strategic media and communication response where an emergency requires a multi-agency response.
Single Industry Spokesperson (SIS)
The SIS is a gas industry based process designed to ensure media, customers, and the general public receive a coordinated and timely response that communicate the agreed key messages and give clear advice about the status of a wide spread gas situation
Approved Curtailment or Rationing Allowance
A curtailment or rationing allowance is the minimum quantity of gas consumption that has been approved to reduce risk to the Victorian community. In the event of curtailment or rationing, best efforts will be used to maintain any approved allowance, however an approved allowance is not a guarantee or supply.
End users that reasonably believe they are eligible for an allowance must complete an application for an allowance:
The completed form must be submitted to:
· their Retailer if they are retail customer. The Retailer must submit this completed application form to AEMO for review and approval; or
· to AEMO if they are not a retail customer.