State Emergency Service Volunteer Advisory Committee (2014)
The first mention of a consultative committee for the SES, known as the Volunteers’ Advisory Committee (VAC), was in a ministerial statement dated the 15 August 1985. The first VAC was then established and met in May 1987, with the first Chair being John Capes OAM.
In those days the VAC had one delegate for each region.
When the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) was established on 1 January 1999, the Volunteer Consultative Committee ceased to exist and under the FESA Act (1998) the State Emergency Service Consultative Committee was formed. All other services also established Consultative Committees. In September 2012 when the FESA act (1998) was amended and became the FES act (1998) the FESA Board and Consultative Committees were abolished. The new Fire and Emergency Services act of 1998 now defined “Prescribed Associations” for each service and allowed for an Advisory Committee for each service to be set up.
An Instrument of Establishment was designed and submitted to the WA Government Cabinet for approval. This Instrument of Establishment included the names of all nominees for members and deputies. The new SES VAC had its induction on 3 October 2014 and elected the Chair (Gordon Hall) and deputy Chair (Phillip Petersen).
The SES VAC is a strategic committee advising the FES Commissioner on matters related to anything that may impact SES Volunteers operationally, administratively and associated areas. As an advisory committee, different to a Consultative Committee, all matters to be considered come from the Office of the Commissioner and are returned with appropriate comments or advice. The SESVA’s Executive is fully supportive of the VAC having a strong strategic focus that aims to keep the profile of the service at the forefront of emergency services, with the most informed advice and recommendations being made to the Commissioner.
The SES Volunteer Advisory Committee will;
- be responsible for advising the FES Commissioner upon, and making recommendations in relation to, anything that may impact SES Volunteers, operationally, administratively or otherwise;
- evaluate all reports and recommendations, from all DFES Committees, whose actions may affect SES Volunteers and escalating matters, where applicable, to the FES Commissioner;
- provide quarterly reports to SES Unit members on all matters, recommendations and advice reported to the FES Commissioner or his staff.
- The Committee is to consist of not more than 13 persons who have such knowledge, experience or competence that the Minister considers appropriate to the matters on which the Committee is to advise. The majority of the members are to be appointed from people nominated by the SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Inc.).