SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

One Association - Many Values

3/07/2022 – Local Managers Workshop

EMERGENCY SERVICES LEGISLATION AMALGAMATION

The SESVA hosted a Workshop in Cottesloe on 9th July. This will provide all SES Units with an opportunity for comprehensive engagement on amalgamation of the Emergency Services Acts.  Guest presenter at the Workshop will be Associate Professor Michael Eburn, the leading Australian researcher in emergency services and emergency management and law.

It is vitally important that SES Local Managers participate in this final opportunity for consultation and discussion to development a collaborative position by the end of the Workshop.

Background

The legislation Interagency Working Group (IWG) is comprised of representatives of the four Volunteer Associations, DFES and WALGA. It was formed to review consolidation of the three Emergency Services Acts.

In 2021 the IWG requested DFES approach the FES Minister to approve sharing cabinet in confidence material with the IWG, allowing the SES, through the IWG, to be briefed on the live issues associated with the draft Exposure Bill. The live issues could then have been socialised in the SES community with the object of formulating a position on consolidation of the Acts to be presented back to Parliamentary Council.

It now appears the Minister is not prepared to approve Cabinet in Confidence which prevents the SESVA thoroughly socialising the live issues and raises concern as to the changes being proposed. The SESVA is believes that the government is considering absorbing the SES, removing it from local government and the Local Government Grant Scheme and manage it directly.

Ultimately, however, it is incumbent on Units to decide whether that is or isn’t good for them.

The SESVA believes it is of crucial importance for all Units to be engaged and fully informed on this matter to make the best decision on behalf of their volunteers.   Lookout for an update on the Workshop outcomes in the next Newsletter, on the website and Facebook.

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