Disaster Preparedness: Funding, staffing needed for TFES

In April, TFES (Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service) cancelled its appearance at the Senate Select Committee into Disaster Resilience just one day before the meeting.  

Senator Jacqui Lambie, who was chairing the committee told media she was “very unimpressed” with the TFES no-show, labelling it as “absolutely disgusting,” asking “What are they scared of?” 

We know the importance of these workers in keeping Tasmanians safe, and protecting lives, property, and the environment. But for too long the Rockliff Government has left TFS and SES underfunded and understaffed, without enough people, and with a high number of vacancies.  

Tasmanians need to know how well resourced this Agency is before a major disaster strikes. The fact that TFSES cancelled its appearance means we simply don’t know the answer to this. It’s not good enough. 

The Mercury reported that “A Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management spokesperson said the Tasmania Fire Service and SES submissions to the senate select committee was “not prepared and endorsed within the required timeframes.”

Understaffing could be one explanation as to why the Agency couldn’t meet the timeframes ahead of the committee. 

As we draw nearer to winter, another step closer to the next fire season, Tasmanians need to know that TFES is funded and resourced to respond to any emergencies and disasters our state might face.  

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