The following Question without Notice was asked by the Member for South West Hon Dr Steve Thomas MLC and answered by the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC on behalf of Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan in Parliament today.
Interestingly, DFES released this media statement at 10am today which had its original title of “Call for EOI on new Bushfire Centre of Excellence” later changed to “DFES clarifies EOI for new Bushfire Centre of Excellence“.
Hon Dr STEVE THOMAS to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to the minister’s announcement on 13 April of a Rural Fire Division within the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the development of a co-located Bushfire Centre of Excellence, and the so-called tender document released online in September 2018 that effectively calls for expressions of interest from local governments in having the Bushfire Centre of Excellence in their jurisdiction as reported in The Great Southern Weekender of 27 September this year.
(1) What media statements were issued by the government announcing the opening of this tender and when were they issued?
(2) What media statements were issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services announcing the opening of this tender and when were they issued?
(3) How did the government advertise this tender?
(4) Noting that the closing date of the tender is 24 October, has the government attempted to minimise the distribution of this document in an attempt to reduce the applications from rural and regional areas of Western Australia?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises the following.
(1)–(2) No media statements were released to signal the opening of the request for proposal process. All eligible local governments were directly advised via the WA Local Government Association. Additionally, advertisements were placed in The West Australian of 29 September 2018 and 3 October 2018.
(3) The request for proposal is not a formal tender process; it is a preliminary process to gauge interest in hosting the new Bushfire Centre of Excellence. DFES is calling for proposals from local governments to ensure that a fair and equitable process is followed, given the overwhelming interest in the first-of-its-kind centre.