SES review left sitting on shelf for 8 months: Mayor
A review of the State Emergency Service has been left sitting on the shelf for eight months as a destructive cyclone hovers off the Queensland coast, an alliance of regional mayors claims.
The Regional Queensland Council of Mayors Incorporated is calling on the State Government to urgently release the review report, saying time is a critical factor as the threat of cyclones and flooding looms.
The call came after a meeting of the new group in Mackay this week.
Regional Queensland Council of Mayors chair Greg Williamson said the yet-to-be-released report on the SES review was presented to the State Government in July last year, but had never been made public.
"It is very disturbing to have a cyclone hovering off the Queensland coast and to know that a report on the SES has been sitting with the State Government for eight months with no action," the Mackay Mayor said.
"The SES are critical to regional communities during a natural disaster, so it is imperative that we know what this review has recommended."
Independent consultant Campbell Darby and SES director Brian Cox conducted the review, which was launched in September 2019.
It involved meetings with 32 SES groups, visits with 51 local governments and received 488 responses from SES members.
Views from councils and QFES on current disaster management plans were also collected.
The final document was presented to then-Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford on July 1 last year, but Mark Ryan took over the portfolio after the 2020 state election.
In response to a question in parliament last year, Mr Crawford said the State Government was considering the recommendations and the release date of the report.
Group deputy chair and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the Regional Queensland Council of Mayors had written to the premier and Mr Ryan to ask for the report to be released as a matter of urgency.
"The report needs to be released publicly and the minister and State Government need to announce what actions will be taken in relation to its recommendations as a matter of priority," she said.
Executive members of the group include the mayors of Mackay, Whitsunday, Cook, Douglas, Cairns, Townsville and Charters Towers.