Emergency Services Reform Update April 2015

On the 23 February 2015, The Minister provided the following proposed structure to the Reference Group.  This revised structure reflects feedback and comments received by the Minister and it supersedes the previous proposed structure of December 2014.


Proposed Structure April 2015. Click to view a larger image.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other States have a departmental structure – I've heard this hasn't worked.  Why are we looking at doing the same thing?
Some other States have or are moving to a departmental structure. Reports on the effectiveness are mixed (depending on who you talk to). Whilst a detailed model has not been determined yet, we can learn from what has happened interstate, and need to come up with our own 'home grown' model that is fit for purpose. It is important that we seek as much feedback from people as possible to make sure we get the best ideas, particularly from people on the ground. The Minister has met with interstate volunteer associations and staff from these peer organisations.

So does this mean there will be job losses as part of the reform?
There is a need to be more efficient and sustainable in how the sector is run. Jobs may need to be redesigned or be lost and some new jobs created - this would need to be managed in accordance with the relevant industrial instruments and in consultation with the relevant industrial bodies. However, the Minister has said that his intention is to reinvest savings back into the sector to address areas of need. What may happen is that people who are currently performing a task, may be re-trained and undertake a different task in the new structure.

What happens to SAFECOM?
SAFECOM and the SAFECOM Board will be retained under the updated interim structure. Additional functionality will be progressively transitioned from the operational agencies to create three new support divisions:
-    Strategic & Support Services
-    Volunteer Services & Community Resilience
-    Capability & Support

Will the CFS and the SES merge into one volunteer service?
No. Based on the feedback, it is clear that a merge of CFS and SES at the local level should be
something that is decided at the local level rather than imposed from above. Volunteers and staff have said that 'one size does not fit all' so there needs to be some level of flexibility in the new model.  The identity that volunteers have with the service they belong to will be respected. Some volunteers have told us that they are currently members of both the CFS and SES, and are happy to merge - other volunteers are not.  If that is the decision they make, we will support them.  

Will there be any support to assist volunteers to manage administration?
Some volunteers have told us about the administrative burden they face at their unit, brigade or group.  One of the things we will be exploring are new service delivery models, including how we can support volunteers at the coal face.  There may be opportunities to assign staff to regions/groups/districts/brigades or units where possible, to support volunteers with non-operational tasks.