Emergency Services management needs overhaul

The Emergency Services Agency (ESA) needs to enhance its capability and improve safeguards for the community. To make this happen, the Canberra Liberals are calling for the ESA to be re-established as a statutory authority, independent of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate (JACS), Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Brendan Smyth said today. 

“The ESA has been dogged by poor management and there are serious concerns that operational capabilities are being eroded by complacency,” Mr Smyth said.

“Proposed changes to the executive structure of the ESA, which include three extra executive positions to oversee support services, have been seriously questioned by the United Firefighters Union (UFU). There are doubts the changes will lead to better services provisions in ACT Fire and Rescue and the ACT Rural Fire Service.

“Removing the ESA from JACS and scrapping the ESA commissioner role in favour of a CEO are necessary changes to give Canberra’s emergency services the new start it needs to do the best job possible in protecting Canberrans.

“Today in the Legislative Assembly I will call for the government to re-establish the ESA as a statutory authority to pave the way for better management with enhanced capability,” Mr Smyth concluded.