The following Question Without Notice was asked by the Hon Colin de Grussa MLC and answered today in Parliament by the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC on behalf of the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES ACT — REVIEW
Hon Colin de Grussa to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to question without notice 813, which I asked in this place on 13 August 2019.
(1) Has the discussion paper referred to in part (1) of the response been discussed by cabinet?
(2) Has the minister or his department conducted a review of related acts, including, but not limited to, the Bush Fires Act 1954; and, if so, will he please table the terms of reference for any such review and indicate when the review will be completed?
(3) With reference to part (2) of the minster’s answer, will he please provide details of how the “new emergency services legislation will improve and modernise the relationship between all volunteer groups” and how and when further consultation will occur?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(3) The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has conducted a review of the emergency services acts. The emergency services acts are defined in section 3 of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 to mean the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998, the Bush Fires Act 1954 and the Fire Brigades Act 1942. The review has met the requirements of the Department of Treasury’s regulatory impact assessment guidelines. The regulatory gatekeeping unit issued a compliance assessment notice on 3 May 2015.
Cabinet has approved the consolidation of the three emergency services acts into a single piece of legislation to modernise the relationship between all volunteer groups and better reflect how our emergency services operate in the twenty-first century. The next step is for the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to draft an exposure draft bill. Once completed, the exposure draft bill will be released for a comprehensive public comment period.