The purpose of the National Response Team (NRT) is to provide a national incident management and field operations surge capacity to support Australian pollution response control agencies responding to major marine environmental incidents. This document sets out how the NRT will be maintained, managed and deployed.

The NRT is a core capability of the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies (‘the National Plan’).


The policy establishes the following:

  • The function of the NRT within the auspices of the National Plan.
  • The accountabilities of the States and Northern Territory for the provision and management of personnel that form the NRT.
  • The accountabilities of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for the development and maintenance of the NRT capability.
  • Arrangements for the deployment of the NRT to emergencies.


The formation, maintenance and deployment of the NRT is the shared responsibility of AMSA and State and Northern Territory Governments. It is only through each party delivering on the requirements of this policy in full that the NRT can be considered a fully functioning capability.

The National Plan Strategic Coordination Committee (NPSCC) is responsible for providing assurance that the NRT is an effective capability.

The next section defines the accountabilities of the NPSCC, AMSA and the State and Northern Territory Governments.

National Response Team Accountabilities

National Plan Strategic Coordination Committee 

  • Capability assurance.
  • Confirmation of appointments to the NRT.
  • Confirmation of the annual training and exercising program.
  • Approver of this policy

Australian Maritime Safety Authority1

  • National coordination and management of the NRT.
  • Initial and ongoing training of NRT members.
  • Exercising of the NRT.
  • Coordination and management of NRT deployments.
  • Reporting to the NPSCC on NRT performance. 

States & Northern Territory governments

  • Provision of personnel to the NRT with minimum competencies and experience.
  • Ensuring that NRT personnel are made available for national training and exercising and deployments.
  • Ensuring NRT members are fully equipped with personal protective equipment and other items necessary to perform their nominated function.


AMOSC: Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre
AMSA: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
NOPSEMA: National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority
NPSCC: National Plan Strategic Coordination Committee
NRT: National Response Team
NT: Northern Territory
AIIMS: Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System 
SCAT: Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique 
Surge capability: The ability to scale up the resources available to a jurisdiction to respond to a maritime environmental emergency.
Assurance target: The number of personnel that are available at any given time to respond as part of the National Response Team.


1. AMSA will also deploy to an incident alongside, but separate to, the NRT.