Police Fire and Emergency Management Minister Felix Ellis must start listening to the experts instead of arrogantly pushing his own agenda through Parliament.
For too long the Minister has ignored Tasmanian Fire Service and SES experts who have told him that they need an independent Statutory Authority so that lives, properties and the environment can be protected.
Instead of doing this, he has been nothing more than a wrecking ball, which has seen one of the most respected fire chiefs forced out the door.
Minister Ellis needs to understand the ramifications of his actions and start listening.
He needs to provide the TFS and SES with an adequate and fair funding model that is directly hypothecated for the TFES only.
There is agreement that reform is needed but we need to ensure that these reforms are done properly and should improve the ability, agility and safety of our firefighters and emergency service workers.
Minister Ellis must provide workers with a clear operational chain of command that allows for a direct reporting line straight to him without having to go through a Commissioner of Police as Secretary.
The Minister has an opportunity to positively create a modern fire and rescue service that will be empowered to act and meet the needs of community safety in the state.
Instead, he is showing Tasmanians that he is so far out of his depth and is incapable as a Minister.
If this reform fails it will be on Minister Ellis’s inexperienced head.
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management