Emergency Services Management Act 2006
The Emergency Management Act 2006 provides for the protection of life, property and the environment in the event of an emergency in Tasmania, the establishment of Tasmania's emergency management arrangements and the provision of certain rescue and retrieval operations. It repeals the Emergency Services Act 1976, rescinds certain statutory rules, and provides consequential amendments to certain Acts for related purposes.
Part 2, Division 4 of the Emergency Management Act 2006 provides for the State Emergency Service in Tasmania and includes applicable functions and powers.
The Emergency Management Act 2006 came into effect on 20 October 2006 and replaces the Emergency Services Act 1976 in the following ways:
- Replaces the 'emergency service' and 'disaster' focus of the old Act with the more contemporary and all encompassing 'emergency management' focus;
- Updates all terminology and statutory titles, as required, to reflect contemporary and nationally recognised understanding;
- Reduces the number of State-level emergency management committees from two to one and clarifies the nature, roles and titles applicable to the emergency management committee arrangements at State, Regional and Municipal levels;
- Provides increased flexibility with emergency powers and the power to direct organisations to take emergency management measures;
- Updates the allocation of functions, duties and powers to the SES;
- Simplifies the provision of emergency declarations;
- and Consolidates and enhances miscellaneous provisions, particularly in relation to volunteers.
The Act retains the existing State, regional and municipal levels of governance for effective emergency management. State, regional and municipal emergency management planning requirements compliment each of these three levels.
The SES provisions now include the appointment of a Director SES and applicable functions and powers that were previously with the Director of Emergency Services.
The Act includes provisions for the identification, assessment and effective management of community risks or risk activities.
Emergency powers may be authorised by the State Emergency Management Controller (currently the Commissioner of Police) for the effective management of significant emergencies or potential emergency events.
Three declared states, under the old Act, have been reduced to a single declared state of emergency, which will be authorised by the Premier and permits the specified State Emergency Management Controller or Regional Emergency Management Controllers to exercise specified special emergency powers.
Local government support requirements for municipal volunteer SES units are fundamentally the same as existing arrangements. Such provisions add clarity to the arrangements, which rely on an ongoing cooperative approach between councils and the SES for supporting municipal SES volunteer units. Local Coordinators shall now be referred to as Municipal Emergency Management Coordinators.
The Act defines registered volunteers as emergency management workers. This recognises our dependence on volunteers and that they must be entitled to the same protections as salaried emergency management workers.
Transitional provisions allow most committees and authorities under the old Act to continue under the new Act without new appointments.