ESL Review by the ERA
The SES Volunteers Association developed a submission for the above review by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) and were then invited to a hearing on 28 March 2017.
The main purpose of the hearing was to provide further information to the ERA for a report to government considering the following;
- The current ESL expenditure applied to managing the emergency services (prevention of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from natural hazard emergencies).
- The proportion of ESL funding directed towards each aspect of emergency management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
- The extent to which the current allocation of ESL funds towards prevention and response reflects best practice in managing the risk of bushfire and other hazards.
- The extent to which the current methodology for setting the ESL is appropriate, now and into the future.
- The current transparency and accountability arrangements for the distribution of the ESL.
- Whether it would be more appropriate for the allocation of ESL funds to be the responsibility of an agency other than the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
- The extent to which the ESL should be available to fund administrative and/or operational costs of a Rural Fire Service.
- The extent to which the use of the ESL to fund a Rural Fire Service would impact on ESL rates.
The Authority must make a draft report available for consultation with the key entities involved in emergency management and complete a final report, including recommendations, no later than 29 September 2017. The SESVA hearing team consisted of David Worth, Lin Booth and Gordon Hall. The hearing went for 1 hr and 45 minutes. Many matters to do with the Local Government Grant Scheme and funding for SES Units were tabled and discussed.
Further to this a concept for an Emergency Service model for the state, was tabled and included the SES having its’ own Chief Officer. Supporting evidence and reasons why this would be better for the service delivery of emergency services in WA was tabled and discussed. The ERA panel was very interested in what the SESVA team had to say and the evidence tabled by the SESVA.
The SESVA will update SES Volunteers on any future developments.