1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister Felix Ellis
Save Our Fire Rescue & State Emergency Services
In 2021, the Tasmanian government committed to retaining the statutory authority of the State Fire Commission.
We call on the Minister to keep this promise and ensure that there is adequate funding to allow TFES to deliver a modern fire rescue and state emergency service response equivalent to that of mainland jurisdictions.
Why is this important?
The little information that is available indicates that the Minister's proposed changes to the Fire Service Act will strip the State Fire Commission of all statutory authority, shifting some of it to the Department Secretary who is also the Commissioner of Police.
Fire rescue and state emergency personnel have already felt the impacts of resources being stripped from TFS after the integration with DPFEM, which gave the Commissioner of Police influence over the fire service through their role as Secretary. We have grave concerns that these changes will see fewer resources available for TFES, which will prevent any sustained improvement to fire rescue and state emergency services.
WHS systems provided by DPFEM are failing, with over a dozen notices issued for suspected contraventions of the WHS Act. Most of the fleet was found to be unroadworthy and a shortage of mechanics is leading to delays and vehicles breaking down. Training systems are chaotic and aren't delivering for the evolving needs of the fire rescue and state emergency services.
Tasmanians already have some of the poorest emergency response statistics in Australia. The proposed changes will only make this worse, putting Tasmanian lives and property at further risk.