Strengthening South Australia’s Emergency Services Sector

Tuesday 11 May, 2021

South Australia’s response to bushfire emergencies will be bolstered, under new legislation that passed State Parliament today.

Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia said the changes implement key recommendations made by the Independent Review of the devastating 2019/20 bushfire season.

“The Marshall Liberal Government acted quickly to implement the recommendations of the Review, injecting almost $100 million into the state’s Emergency Services Sector to strengthen South Australia’s emergency response capabilities.

“This Bill delivers on another two recommendations, enabling the Minister for Emergency Services to appoint an Independent Chair to the SAFECOM Board, and enable the State Bushfire Coordination Committee to provide an annual report to the Parliament.

“This move has universal stakeholder support, and has already been factored into the State Budget, with an additional $60,000 set aside each year to fund the role of Independent Chair,” he said.

The Government also made an important addition to the Bill to ensure that the SAFECOM Board, which includes union and volunteer association representatives, has a clear, legislated role in overseeing the sector’s asset management planning.

“These measures support actions we have already taken to ensure South Australia is prepared for its next bushfire emergency,” Minister Tarzia said.

“This includes funding additional support and resources for volunteers, including extra staff and equipment, and enhancing communications and technology,” he said.