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Rudd's Army: A Deployable Civilian Capacity for Australia

By Anthony Bergin and Bob Breen

Following the response to the 2020 Summit’s recommendations, the Rudd government has agreed to establish a Deployable Civilian Capacity (DCC) for the rapid deployment of civilian experts to assist in international disaster relief, stabilisation and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.

This Policy Analysis, authored by Anthony Bergin and Bob Breen, examines the need to specify responsibilities, accountabilities, authority, legal obligations and resources to achieve a ‘Team Australia’ approach. Equitable conditions of service for civilian participants on overseas operations that are comparable to military and police entitlements will be important.

An emergency response register of specialist personnel, such as medical teams, engineers, logisticians, sanitation experts and communications technicians, would enhance DCC responsiveness. Another register that monitors the quantity and location of commercial stocks for emergency humanitarian assistance would help.

It is also worth considering, particularly in the aftermath of the Victorian bushfires, how best to draw on the DCC to respond to life-threatening disasters and delivery of humanitarian assistance to Australians at home when catastrophic natural disasters occur.