EMERGENCY SERVICES (P7c)

The Community Alliance Party supports the development of a world class emergency services organisation for the ACT. We will ensure that adequate resources are provided to improve morale amongst emergency services personnel and to protect the ACT community.

The community is concerned that the Emergency Services Authority currently is unable to protect the ACT from another catastrophe on the scale of 2003. The Alliance will work with fire fighters, related specialists, communities, and governments to rebuild an effective Emergency Services Authority, and reinstate the Rural Fire Service as an independent statutory authority, insulating it from political and bureaucratic interference.

Planning

The Alliance will work with specialists, government and communities to rebuild an emergency services organisation that has distinct services for the different types of operations, managed primarily to assist the operational groups undertaking their duties as a means to preventing or mitigating the emergency risks posed to the ACT community.
The Alliance will seek to ensure that the operations and management of the emergency services organisation are directed by a well-informed risk analysis and risk management plan.
The Alliance will insist that strategic, budgetary, and management decisions are open and transparent to the community to show how risk is being managed and what risk is being shared.
The Alliance will require the Emergency Services Authority to develop long-term plans, keep them up-to-date, and use them to manage budgets, strategies and set policy directions.
The Alliance will seek to enable the emergency services to be well prepared to meet a range of emergencies that may threaten the ACT, including fire, flooding, storms, infectious diseases, terrorism, and toxic chemical releases.
It is the Alliance's view that the handling of the recovery process after a disaster should follow environmental and social best practice.

Operations

The Alliance supports the view that operations should be based on the AIIMS (Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System) framework and principles.
The Alliance believes that a properly equipped and trained Rural Fire Service is essential for a rapid response to emergencies.
In government, the Alliance will provide funding to adequately equip rural villages and suburbs on the urban fringe with suitable fire fighting equipment, substantial water tanks and observation posts, and to train volunteers in their use.

Coordination

The Alliance will work with the NSW Government to significantly improve the level of coordination between the emergency services in the two jurisdictions.

Research

The Alliance will call for an independent inquiry into preventative fire management and its effects on biodiversity, water quality and fire fighting, particularly since severe bushfires are likely to occur more often as a result of climate change. This will use the results from past inquiries as a starting point.