01/03/2013 - Review of Emergency Services Acts

REVIEW OF EMERGENCY SERVICES ACTS
As DFES have now extended the membership of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG) on the review of the Emergency Services Acts to include the Volunteer Associations, the dynamics of this group will change and at the same time the Volunteer Associations will be able to bring to the table a wealth of underpinning knowledge to assist the review process.

The purpose of the IWG is to provide a strategic oversight into the development of the Fire and Emergency legislation.

DFES have administrative responsibility in managing the following legislation, the Fire Brigades act of 1942, the Bush Fires act of 1954 and the Fire and Emergency Act of 1998.  The Community Development Justices Standing Committee 2006 recommended that the three Acts be amalgamated, however since that time much has changed in the environment and the review of legislation provides us the opportunity to look at not only the recommendations made in these various reviews but more practically in the way we do our business to ensure that we have legislation that assists us in doing our roles.

The terms of reference of the IWG are;
1.    The means by which legislation adequately addresses prompt and coordinated organisation of fire and emergency management in the state;
2.    The means by which adequate consultation in the development of the legislation has occurred;
3.    The inter relations between the Acts and other legislation;
4.    The strategic inter-operability of the various emergency service organisations within the State;
5.    Risks associated with the development and implementation of the consolidated Act and how these will be addressed, and;
6.    Any major issues that emerge that the IWG considers should be examined.

At the recent meeting of the IWG a number of matters were discussed and in particular;
1.    The extension of the time for formal submissions which will assist in formulating the draft options paper will  now be the end of April;
2.    Provision of feedback from the road-show  briefings to be shared so the Associations can get an understanding of the issues being raised at these sessions;
3.    The importance of providing formal submissions on legislative requirements, or otherwise, by the end of April.

The State Emergency Service Volunteers Association will be making a submission based on feedback received so far. After the formal submissions have been received by DFES, a draft Options Paper will be developed and circulated for comment.
To assist the SES Volunteers, especially those that cannot access the DFES portal, the Association can provide a feedback sheet and guidance on making a submission.

Gordon Hall
SESVA Secretary and IWG Member
sesva.secretary@gmail.com

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