Reviews of the SES and Queensland Fire Emergency Service have prompted a restructure.
The State Government will now set up a dedicated Queensland Fire Services Department, made up by Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service.
Meantime, the Queensland Police Service will host the SES and VMR services.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett is welcoming the review ahead of cyclone season.
“For years I have been echoing the calls of rural firies, VMR, and SES volunteers for more support, more funding, and better communications,” he says.
“They have been operating on sausage sizzle and raffle budgets, spending their weekends raising money to save lives.
“The Emergency Management Levy (EML) was originally designed to fund important and necessary services for Queenslanders, but it’s been a failure.
“The Levy was established in 2014 to ensure a more sustainable funding base for emergency services, but it fast became the primary source of funding for the QFES department.
“Despite seeing a funding increase of 28% from $391 million to $536 million between 2013-14 to 2018-19 the combined marine rescue only saw 1.6% of the total revenue collected from the EML.
“This recent review has been scathing, highlighting the deficiencies of the current system and resulting in a complete overhaul.
“I cannot thank our local SES and VMR volunteers, and RFS members who fought alongside me for years to get a fair share of resources.
“Common-sense has finally prevailed thanks to people power, perseverance, and the dedication of our emergency service personnel.”
Mr Bennett says he will work with the government to bring more resources and funding to the region.
“I have been writing to Minister Ryan about several RFS appliance, chain of command, and communication issues we’re experiencing around the region, and I am hopeful this review might have the answers.”