(1) The Minister may determine in writing that an event is a major disaster if the Minister is satisfied that the event is a disaster that has such a significant impact on individuals that a government response is required.
Note: If the Prime Minister makes a declaration under subsection 35B(1) that a terrorist act is a declared overseas terrorist act, the Minister is taken to have made a determination under subsection (1) of this section that the terrorist act is a major disaster (see subsection 35B(2)).
(2) Without limiting the matters to which the Minister may have regard in considering the impact of the event on individuals, the Minister must have regard to:
(a) the number of individuals affected; and
(b) the extent to which the nature or extent of the disaster is unusual.
(3) The event:
(a) may be one that occurs naturally or otherwise; and
(b) may be one that occurs in Australia or outside Australia.
(4) If the same event has an impact in 2 or more locations, the Minister may:
(a) make a single declaration under this section relating to some or all of the locations; or
(b) make 2 or more declarations under this section, each relating to one or more of the locations (whether or not the declarations cover all of the locations).
However, the Minister must not make a determination that relates both to a location in Australia and a location outside Australia.
(5) A determination made under this section is not a legislative instrument.