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Supplies panel ‘to speed emergency responses’ 

The National Emergency Management Stockpile has established a standing offer panel aimed at speeding access to equipment and services during disasters.

The federal government says the panel will work to provide critical resources, such as temporary flood defence equipment and modular shelter camps, to state and territory emergency services.

Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt says the panel is the first of its kind in Australia and is already helping communities hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper early this year.

“The establishment of this panel is an investment in a more disaster-resilient Australia, and will help us save lives,” he said.

“By having this stockpile ready to roll out, and for state and territory governments to know what’s available and where, we can all help communities by responding faster and more effectively.

“It will ensure emergency response agencies can gain access to pre-evaluated and pre-negotiated goods and services through a single procurement mechanism, streamlining deployment.”

The National Emergency Management Agency will oversee the panel.

Agency co-ordinator-general Brendan Moon says it is a tool to “strengthen Australia’s ability to respond to national disasters”.

“Over time, states and territories – if they choose to access the panel – can expect to see benefits such as competitive pricing and potential co-operative procurements at the national level,” he said.

“This initiative is also an investment in Australian businesses, by giving them the opportunity to be part of a Commonwealth standing offer arrangement.”