The Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) released a document called “Review of Emergency Services Acts: Concept Paper” for public comment in April 2014. The public consultation period closed on 31 July 2014.
The DFES website explains that the review was initiated in response to the recommendations of the 2006 the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee (CDJSC) Parliamentary Inquiry into Fire and Emergency Services Legislation 2006 and is required because:
“the current legislation is confusing and incongruous and does not reflect how emergency services organisations operate in today’s modern communities. Although each Act has been amended from time to time, the Fire Brigades Act, the Bush Fires Act and the Fire and Emergency Services Act largely reflect the prevailing socio-political influences of when they were enacted.”
DFES outlines the structure and purpose of the “Concept Paper” in the following terms:
“The Concept Paper is not a line-by-line comparison of the existing legislation and the new legislation. The Concept Paper sets out the options that were put forward by stakeholders to address key issues affecting emergency services throughout the State. The detailed mechanics of implementation and operation do not form part of this paper.
While considerable consultation has gone into the development of the Concept Paper and the selection of the preferred options, the Concept Paper is primarily a means for further more focused consultation with stakeholders. DFES invites all stakeholders to apply their knowledge and experience to the options and provide feedback about the future direction of legislation.”
To download a copy of the original DFES Concept Paper, please click here. (1MB pdf)
In its role as the peak body for Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades and their 26,000 members, the AVBFB has made every effort to engage and consult with as many of its constituents and zone representatives as possible within the allocated period. As a result, the Association submitted a 20,000 word response that endeavours to provide both specific recommendations and general comments.
With such a large and diverse membership, the AVBFB knows that some will view the comments as too strong while others will not be satisfied that the language used was strong enough. It is the view of the Association that after a large investment of time and resources, the final document provides an honest representation of the majority view while striking a reasonable and productive balance in tone.
Importantly, this process is merely the beginning of a very long road to new legislation and as such, the AVBFB continues to encourage input and feedback from members regarding the proposal to consolidate legislation at some time in the future.
Below are a series of links to relevant resources including the AVBFB submission to the concept paper, submitted 31 July 2014.
The AVBFB submission to the DFES Concept Paper
- Covering letter and submission overview from Terry Hunter, AVBFB President
- Chapter 1: Emergency Services Levy (ESL)
- Chapter 2: Administration and miscellaneous provisions
- Chapter 3: Risk Mitigation
- Chapter 4: Volunteer Brigades, Groups and Units
- Chapter 5: Response, Command and Control
- Chapter 6: Emergency Services in the built environment
- Chapter 7: Offences and Enforcement
- Chapter 8: Protection from liability
- Chapter 9: Fire and Rescue Service Operational Staff
The AVBFB submission to the DFES Concept Paper – Full PDF version