National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic

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About this publication

The National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic (NAP) was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) at its meeting of 14 July 2006. An April 2009 version reflected developments in preparedness planning and incorporated the lessons of Exercise Sustain 08. The NAP was updated in April 2010 to reflect experiences in response to the pandemic (H1N1) in 2009. This September 2011 version acknowledges that indigenous Australians were also at increased risk of serious disease during the pandemic in 2009.

The National Action Plan builds on, and is consistent with, the health response to pandemic influenza threat outlined in the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI 2008 revised edition), equivalent State and Territory health plans and other emergency management plans. An updated AHMPPI was released in December 2009 that incorporates the PROTECT response phase and other materials developed in response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009.

The National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic will be updated as necessary as further information becomes available and as national policy directions are further developed.

Statement of Cooperation

At the COAG meeting of 14 July 2006, Commonwealth, state, territory and local government leaders agreed to a Statement of Cooperation to protect Australia against the threat of an influenza pandemic and to respond quickly and decisively should one occur.

Preparing Australia for a human influenza pandemic

The National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic outlines how Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments will work together to protect Australia against the threat of an influenza pandemic and support the Australian community should one occur.

Supporting this plan are plans that cover in more detail how individual governments and agencies are working together to prepare for, and respond to, an influenza pandemic. These are available through the Pandemic Influenza and relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory agency websites.

Governments acknowledge that no matter how well prepared they might be, they alone cannot control and manage the spread of an influenza pandemic.

All governments are committed to working with business and the community generally, and providing them with accurate and timely information, to help them prepare for the possibility of a pandemic in Australia.

A severe influenza pandemic could have a major impact on Australia’s economy, and the social and community impacts would be significant. Appropriate business planning and preparation will underpin our ability to recover quickly. Business continuity guides to help Australian businesses and non-government organisations consider how a pandemic might affect them and the actions they should take to prepare are available through the Pandemic Influenza website. Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments will all play a role in supporting business continuity planning.

There is much that individuals can do to protect themselves and their families and to help stop an influenza pandemic from spreading throughout the community. Information, advice and support tools are available on the Pandemic Influenza website.  Information on the website and related links will be updated regularly to keep the community informed of developments as a pandemic evolves.

When an influenza pandemic affects Australia, more information and support tools will quickly be made available, through various media including the internet, media briefings and advertising to help the community to deal with the situation at hand.  The ‘new media’ may also provide additional public communications opportunities to disseminate information.

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Communications

Public confidence and stability in the context of a human influenza pandemic is critical.  The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and the Australian Local Government Association are committed to providing consistent, accurate and timely information to the public at all times in the preparation for, response to and recovery from a pandemic.

The National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic outlines the National Influenza Pandemic Public Communications Capability through which this will occur. 

Additionally, the National Influenza Pandemic Public Communications Guidelines, which provide the framework for all levels of government to facilitate a whole of government approach to managing public communications, are at Appendix B.  They are also available as a ‘stand alone’ document.

Exercise Sustain 08

Recognising the importance of exercises in ensuring that plans are robust, readily understood and actionable, COAG agreed in 2007 to a series of pandemic exercises (Exercise Sustain 08) to build further on Exercise Cumpston 06 which tested the national health response to a human influenza pandemic.

With a focus on the maintenance of social and economic functioning and supporting recovery when a pandemic is widespread, Exercise Sustain 08 enabled Australian governments to consider policy issues, exercise national governance arrangements and assess the National Influenza Pandemic Public Communications Capability to support leaders in maintaining public confidence.


Supplementary Documents

**Note this document is currently being updated in line with the latest version of the National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic**

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Contact Details

For more information about the National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic, contact the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Address:
PO Box 6500
CANBERRA ACT 2600 Australia

Telephone: 02 6271 5111

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Last Updated: 28 September 2011