The following Question Without Notice was asked by the Hon Rick Mazza and answered on 4 December by the Hon Stephen Dawson as the Legislative Council’s representative of the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan
Hon RICK MAZZA to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
At a meeting with the Minister for Emergency Services on 30 October, the State Emergency Service Volunteers Association of Western Australia was told that the SES was not getting a chief officer and it was to be integrated into the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
(1) Can the minister confirm that Western Australia is the only jurisdiction in Australia without a chief officer?
(2) If yes to (1), what is the rationale for not appointing one?
(3) Can the minister confirm the SES has gone from 2 500 volunteers eight years ago to 1 902 today?
(4) If yes to (3), why is this the case?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Emergency Services.
(1) No. There are other jurisdictions without a chief officer.
(2) Not applicable.
(3) No. The SES figure in the 2009–10 Fire and Emergency Services Authority annual report was 1,914. At that time, volunteers registered with more than one SES unit were counted for each registration; that is, volunteers registered with two SES units were counted twice. Data cleansing after the annual report figures are released also occurs. The revised figure is 1,772 individual volunteers. The SES has actually increased from 1,772 individual volunteers in 2009–10 to 1 906 individual volunteers as of 2 December 2018.
(4) Not applicable.