Monday, 23 December 2013

Qld Rural fire service - Malone review delivery

Media release

Malone Review Team Update December 2013

Since the handing down of the Police and Community Safety Review (Keelty Review) on the 10th September, the Newman Government and Malone Review Working Group have been focused on delivering the majority of the 91 recommendations of the Malone Review into the Rural Fire Service.

Photo sourced ABC

The Rural Fire Service in Queensland has suffered from the neglect of successive Labor Governments over many years. It is my role and that of Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey to ensure a solid foundation is laid to rebuild an organisation that supports 34,000 volunteer firefighters, Rural Fire Brigades, SES volunteers and State Emergency Service units, which provide community defence across Queensland.

From meetings across the state with volunteers and the large number of submissions that were made, together we’ve set a clear outline of what the Rural Fire Service should look like in the future. We are now in the process of ensuring that RFSQ is empowered to enable its team to meet diverse community needs into the future.

The position of Deputy Commissioner Rural Fire and State Emergency Services will be advertised nationally in early 2014. This role will be instrumental in providing leadership and strategic direction to the Rural Fire Service, as well as the State Emergency Service, Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue. One of the prime attributes of the new Deputy Commissioner is a solid grounding in volunteering and an understanding of the ethos and values of the volunteer.

There are a number of legislative changes that are required to enable my vision, and the legal frame work is something that will not change overnight, as a solid foundation for the acknowledgment and recognition of volunteers will set that basis that brigades and units will operate from for potentially the next twenty years.

The sign-off of the jointly-agreed recommendations is expected by the end of March 2014, however to date the Malone Review Working Group has ticked off on 36 recommendations. This, in conjunction with the appointment of the Deputy Commissioner Rural Fire and State Emergency Services, will see the implementation of these approved recommendations. It is vital that this be communicated widely to RFSQ, SES Staff, volunteers, brigades, units and to all concerned stakeholders. This open communication will ensure there is a wide understanding within the community about the roles and responsibilities that we all share in defending Queensland.
In essence, we are embarking upon a journey that will lead to a more empowered Rural Fire Service supported by a strong, well-led arm of an all hazards approach organisation and I ask you all to work together towards reaching our common goal.
I take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope that there is enough rain to fill your tanks and dams without the deluge that beset us earlier this year.

Ted Malone MP
Assistant Minister for Emergency Volunteers
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