Consultation Fire Service Act

Consultation for a contemporary new Fire Service Act

The Fire Service Act 1979 is now 42 years old and the Government wants to ensure that the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) is underpinned by contemporary legislation that reflects the service delivery that is expected by the community now and into the future.
This is why the Tasmanian Government during the 2021 election, committed to begin consultation on the development of a contemporary new Fire Service Act within the first 100 days.
As part of delivering a new contemporary Fire Service Act, the Government is undertaking full community consultation.
Significant work in this regard has been undertaken through the Review of the Fire Service Act 1979 by Mr Mike Blake (the Blake Fire Service Act Review), and the previous work undertaken by the House of Assembly (HoA) Standing Committee Inquiry into the State Fire Commission.
Work was also undertaken in relation to a Bushfire Mitigation Measures Bill. Public consultation and submissions received recommended that bushfire mitigation measures should be instead included in a new contemporary Fire Service Act.
The Blake Fire Service Act Review includes 45 Recommendations for reform and builds on the Recommendations from the HoA Committee's Report: https://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/house/HAComDev-SFC.html
Due to the alignment of roles and functions, the Blake Fire Service Act Review also includes the consideration of future arrangements for the State Emergency Service (SES).



Consultation

As part of developing a new contemporary Fire Service Act, the Government is seeking community input on the Blake Fire Service Act Review.
Tasmanians need an accountable, flexible and responsive fire and emergency service. The community is therefore invited to have their say on the Blake Fire Service Act Review.
The Government, during the recent election, committed to retaining the State Fire Commission and notes that the Blake Fire Service Act Review recommends abolishing the Commission.
Specific questions that you may want to address in your submission include:

  • As the Tasmanian Government is committed to ring fencing funding for fire and emergency services in legislation, what should the future structure and functions of a State Fire Commission be, so as to meet the future needs of Tasmania's fire and emergency service? Why?
  • Should the State Fire Commission remain as a representative based Commission or transition to a skills-based Commission? Why

Submissions should provide evidence and reasoning as to the support/non-support of the Blake Fire Service Act Review Recommendations.
As the Blake Fire Service Act Review also made 16 Financial Management Recommendations (10-25), the Department of Treasury and Finance, as part of the consultation process, has released a Treasury Options Paper - Fire Service Funding Arrangemens for consultation on potential funding models for TFS and SES to ensure that fire and emergency services are funded in an equitable, transparent and sustainable way.



Submissions

Submissions are to be provided by Monday 6 December 2021 to act.review@fire.tas.gov.au.


To allow all Tasmanians to review both the Blake Fire Service Act Review and the Treasury Options Paper documents in detail and to make submissions, we are extending the consultation period for to Monday 6 December 2021.