Fire Service Act consultation commences

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency

Fire Service Act consultation commences

26 August 2021

Consultation has now commenced on the development of a new contemporary Fire Service Act 1979 as part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe and our commitment as outlined in our First 100 Day Plan.

The current Act is now 42 years old, and we want to ensure that the Tasmania Fire Service is underpinned by contemporary legislation that reflects the service delivery that is expected by the community now and into the future.

Significant work has already been undertaken on a new Act through a review of the Act by Mr Mike Blake and the House of Assembly Standing Committee Inquiry into the State Fire Commission.

The Blake Fire Service Act Review includes 45 Recommendations for reform, and Tasmanians are now invited to have their say on the recommendations to ensure we have an accountable, flexible and responsive fire and emergency service.

I am pleased to announce that Mr Michael Stevens, an experienced policy professional who undertook the role of Bushfire Recovery Coordinator for the devastating Bushfires in 2013 and 2019, will lead the next stage of this important body of work.

As the Review also made 16 Financial Management Recommendations, the Department of Treasury and Finance will release a separate Options Paper on potential funding models to ensure that fire and emergency services in Tasmania are funded in an equitable, transparent and sustainable way.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is taking action to keep Tasmanians safe, and we will continue to invest to ensure bushfire safety and prevention.

The consultation paper can be found at www.dpfem.tas.gov.au

Dedicated team to bolster volunteer support, recruitment and retention

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Dedicated team to bolster volunteer support, recruitment and retention

25 August 2021

Advertising has commenced today on six new roles as part of a team dedicated to volunteer support, recruitment and retention within the Tasmania Fire Service and the State Emergency Service.

Delivering on our First 100 Days Implementation Plan commitment, this $2.4 million investment is part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanian communities safe. 

The roles advertised from today include:

• 3 x Regional Volunteer Stakeholder Engagement Officers that will be for the North, South and North West;

• 1 x Coordinator Volunteer Strategy for SES;

• 1 x Administrative Support role for Volunteer Associations; and

• 1 x Supervisor for Volunteer Support.

Tasmania is fortunate to have around 5,600 volunteers in our fire brigades and our State Emergency Service and we are thankful every day for their magnificent dedication and contribution to our communities. 

It’s important, especially for our rural communities, that our highly trained volunteers are supported. That’s why these new staff are being recruited specifically to work with communities and brigades to support, recruit and retain our volunteers.

Emergency Management Act 2006 review

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management 

Emergency Management Act 2006 review

16 August 2021

The draft Terms of Reference for a targeted review of the Emergency Management Act 2006 have been released delivering on our commitment as outlined in the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s First 100 Day Plan.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government’s number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of all Tasmanians.

The Emergency Management Act 2006 is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the state’s arsenal for dealing with emergencies.

It has been broadly fit for purpose since becoming law, however the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to review and update the Act to ensure Tasmania is best prepared to respond to future challenges.

This review will identify opportunities to modernise key parts of the legislation to incorporate the lessons that have been learnt in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically the outbreak that the North West faced in 2020.

The review of the Act will also consider important amendments to other legislation such as the Public Health Act 1997 to ensure our emergency management framework is consistent, robust and provides a strong foundation for our emergency response into the future.

As Tasmania is still very much in the response phase to the COVID-19 pandemic, the targeted review will commence once Tasmania enters phase C “Vaccination Consolidation Phase” in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

All Tasmanians are encouraged to have input on the draft Terms of Reference which can be found at: https://www.ses.tas.gov.au/review-of-the-emergency-management-act-2006/

Feedback sought on Cockle Creek campground upgrades

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Parks

Feedback sought on Cockle Creek campground upgrades

14 August 2021

Tasmanians are encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed upgrades to the Catamaran and Ramsgate campgrounds at Cockle Creek in the Southwest National Park as part of a $3 million project from the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s ‘Parks Powering Regional Economies’ election commitment.

We know that visitors love camping at Cockle Creek due to its tranquil coves, sandy beaches and distant mountain peaks. These plans will ensure the campgrounds are maintained and preserved for generations to come.

These commitments support the sustainable management of the precinct’s cultural values, as well as tourism and recreational experiences at the southern-most gateway to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and the Southwest National Park.

Consultation on the proposed upgrades include:

  • Managing the campground and day use areas more sustainably to protect the natural and cultural values;
  • Relocating the roads behind the camping areas to increase the overall amenity and reduce the safety risk issues of crossing roads to reach the foreshore;
  • Minimising vehicle entry points, internal vehicle access tracks and parking to improve safety and to maximise camping space; and
  • Providing for a better mix of camping style opportunities to cater for differing needs.

Other proposed projects at the site include upgraded toilets along with improved drainage and access to boat ramps and boat launching sites.

The Cockle Creek Precinct Site Plan  was released for public comment in September 2018, with Stage One delivering a new gateway shelter, increased car parking and upgraded toilets, completed in 2020.

To view the draft plans and provide feedback on this stage of the Cockle Creek Campground Upgrades Project, visit the PWS website at www.parks.tas.gov.au.

The feedback period closes on Monday 13 September.

Supporting the health of our emergency service workforce and volunteers

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management 

Supporting the health of our emergency service workforce and volunteers

10 August 2021

The Health and Wellbeing Support team within the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management will be bolstered following a $1.5 million investment from the Tasmanian Liberal Government as part of our plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

We recognise the challenging work that our emergency services personnel undertake and the risk factors that can impact their mental and physical health, which is why this additional funding will take the annual funding for the Agency’s Wellbeing Program to $3 million.

Delivering on the commitment outlined in our First 100 Day Plan, the Government has now concluded consultation with our emergency services on the best outcomes for the additional $1.5 million investment into their health and wellbeing.

As a result, the additional funding will deliver a Health and Wellbeing Team of 23 staff including increased numbers of Wellbeing Support Officers, psychologists and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Support roles.

The MyPulse program will also be extended to the more than 5,600 Tasmanian emergency services volunteers who often put their lives on the line to protect our communities.

MyPulse is a proactive and preventative program that focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of our emergency services workforce.

It includes health clinics, physical and mental health screens, a resource library, learning modules and other interactive tools on matters that are particularly relevant to emergency services responders.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government recognises the critical role our first responders play in protecting Tasmanians, and protecting their health and wellbeing is our top priority.

Keeping our police officers on the beat in rural and regional communities

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Keeping our police officers on the beat in rural and regional communities

8 August 2021

The new Country Police Station Relief Policy has now commenced as part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

In the upcoming 2021-22 Budget, the Government will provide funding of $10.6 million over four years to fully fund the Policy which provides a consistent state-wide approach to relieving our officers in regional and remote communities.

We know that Tasmania is one of the safest places to live and our crime rates are reflective of this, and this new Policy will enhance response and service provision for our remote and rural communities.

It will also ensure that there is a consistent statewide approach to relieving our officers in regional and remote communities when they take leave.

Tasmania Police has 25 police stations that are deemed rural or remote including Richmond, Nubeena, Dunalley, Orford, Triabunna, Swansea, Bicheno, Oatlands, Liawenee, Bothwell and Kempton, Maydena, Hamilton, Bushy Park, St Mary’s, Fingal, Dover, Geeveston, Cygnet, Woodbridge, Rosebery, Zeehan, Waratah, Strahan, Alonnah.

Measures like this complement the Government’s strong commitment to boosting our police numbers to the highest number in Tasmania Police’s history, supporting our officers mental health and wellbeing and ensuring they have the resources available to keep our communities safe.

Surplus Crown land to be sold by public process

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Parks 

Surplus Crown land to be sold by public process

7 August 2021

Today we are commencing the sale of surplus Crown land in Tasmania through a public land sales program, with the first parcels prepared for sale and listed with agents.

This delivers on a $400,000 commitment from the Tasmanian Liberal Government to identify, market and sell excess Crown Land.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) will be facilitating the process, with any suitable Crown land that is surplus to the Government’s needs to be considered for sale.

Each land parcel will be assessed for both natural and cultural heritage values prior to release, and the PWS will liaise with local councils regarding development of the land in accordance with each municipality’s planning schemes.  

The sale of the surplus Crown land through this program will be an open and public process, and any land selected for sale will be sold through local real estate agencies.

This is part of a larger funding boost for Crown Land programs of $2.1 million over two years which follows on from recommendations for the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council, which identified the need for investment in this area to support timely approvals for development.

For further information visit: www.parks.tas.gov.au