The National Search and Rescue Council

SAR Issues

2013 National SAR Council Meeting

The 37th meeting of the National SAR Council was held at the Lenna of Hobart, Tasmania on 6-8 November 2013.

SAR Awards 2013

Nominations for the 2013 Australian Search and Rescue Award have now closed. Click here to read more about the award.

Revised Intergovernmental Agreement

The revised IGA for National SAR Arrangements was signed by the Standing Council of Police and Emergency Ministers on 29 June 2012.

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The responsibility for search and rescue in Australia is shared by SAR Authorities at both the Federal and State levels. These authorities are responsible for the coordination of search and rescue over a vast area made up of Continental Australia and the East Indian, South-west Pacific and Southern oceans and their responsibilities are shared in accordance with the National Search and Rescue Plan.

In 1976, the SAR Authorities formed a national conference to ensure consistency and uniformity in SAR procedures within the Australian search and rescue region (SRR). In 1999 a shift in perspective saw the group renamed the National Search and Rescue Council with the role of formulating, discussing and ratifying national search and rescue policies. The Council meets annually in November.

In 2004, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Government Ministers responsible for SAR response in Australia signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on National Search and Rescue Response Arrangements that confirmed the National SAR Council's functions and roles.

In 2011, it was agreed that AMSA would initiate a review of the IGA for possible changes.  The review considered issues stemming from recent incidents, commercial vessel regulatory reform and the continuing evolution of the SAR system and the growing emphasis upon the ‘best placed to respond’ concept for coordination of actual operations.

Following extensive consultation and review, the revised draft was approved by the National Policing Senior Officers' Group in April 2012 for forwarding to the Standing Council of Police and Emergency Ministers for signature.

The revised Intergovernmental Agreement may be found here




13 June 2013