24 State Fire Commission

Authority Outline

The State Fire Commission's primary purpose is to minimise the social, economic and environmental impact of fire on the Tasmanian community. This is pursued through the provision of a rapid and effective response to emergencies and through the delivery of a broad range of fire prevention, reduction and safety programs.

The Commission is also responsible for:

       road crash rescue (in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie, Devonport and surrounding areas);

       managing incidents involving hazardous materials;

       providing an Urban Search and Rescue capability to manage the rescue of people from collapsed buildings and structures; and

       providing a rescue/mitigation response to terrorist incidents involving chemical, biological and radiological agents.

A Fuel Reduction Unit (FRU) has been established within the Tasmania Fire Service which has a key role in coordinating the implementation of the Fuel Reduction Program across the whole‑of‑Government.

The State Fire Commission reports to the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Hon Rene Hidding MP, and the supporting agency is the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management. The Commission delivers all of its services through its operational arm, the Tasmania Fire Service.

This chapter provides the State Fire Commission's financial information for 2017‑18 and over the Forward Estimates period (2018‑19 to 2020‑21). Further information on the Commission can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au.


Key Deliverables

Table 24.1 provides a summary of the Budget and Forward Estimate allocations for key deliverables by the Commission.

Table 24.1: Key Deliverables Statement

 

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

 

 

Budget

Forward

Estimate

Forward

Estimate

Forward

Estimate

 

$'000

$'000

$'000

$'000

 

 

 

 

 

Aerial Fire Appliances

3 750

....

....

....

Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program

604

615

627

639

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

860

860

1 800

2 800

Fire Station Build Program

....

600

800

800

Fuel Reduction Program

9 000

9 000

9 000

9 000

State Emergency Service Transition to the Tasmania Fire Service1

1 431

....

....

....

State Fire Management Council

743

758

773

788

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1. Funding was provided by the Government for two years commencing 2016-17, to assist in the transition of the State Emergency Service to the State Fire Commission whilst a longer term sustainable funding model is developed. This amount represents the second year of funding.

Aerial Fire Appliances

The Government has provided funding of $3.8 million in 2017-18 for Aerial Fire Appliances to replace existing ageing infrastructure. Aerial Fire Appliances are specialist equipment primarily designed to provide an elevated platform for rescue or firefighting in high rise structures. They can be used as a high volume water tower or as a ground level firefighting appliance.

The additional funding has been allocated to the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management and is reflected in chapter 7 of this Budget Paper.

Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program

The Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program commenced in 2013‑14. This Program is included in the Commission's corporate plan at a total cost of $2.5 million. For many years, the Commission has been providing high quality bushfire information, which has led to an increase in awareness of bushfire risk and intention to take appropriate action. However, there are still many households in Tasmania that are not prepared for bushfire. This Program engages with people in bushfire‑prone communities and strengthens community networks and community members' capacity to prepare for bushfires.


 

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

The Commission is committed to providing its fire fighters with safe and operationally effective fire trucks, allocated using a 'fitness for purpose' rationale. Each appliance category has an established, defined role and functionality, with a specific scope of application which is considered in the process of allocation to brigades matched to risk. The Commission has endorsed a sustainable fire truck replacement program that will ensure that all trucks remain viable for operation in a safe and effective manner.

Total funding of $6.3 million over a four year period has been allocated to the Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program, which will see the medium and heavy tankers internally designed, refurbished and fabricated.

Fire Station Build Program

Total funding of $2.2 million has been allocated over three years, from 2018-19, for capital upgrades to Commission facilities which will include a combination of replacement and refurbishment of fire stations. One of the key outcomes of the program will be further reducing the exposure to diesel particulate through better station design. This will include the separation of fire fighters' personal protective clothing from firefighting appliance diesel exhaust. This separation provides the added benefit of further eliminating any exposure to the possibility of residual contaminants in protective clothing used in fire fighting. This measure is consistent with mitigating actions related to presumptive legislation for cancer in fire fighters.

Fuel Reduction Program

The Government has committed to significantly increase fuel reduction burning across the State. Strategically reducing risk in the areas that provide the most protection to communities is the priority. Therefore, areas of both private and public land are included ‑ a 'tenure‑blind' approach.

The Government has provided additional funding of $9 million per annum, for three years, from 2018-19 to ensure the continuation of the fuel reduction program. As part of this program, over four years from 2017-18, $2 million will be directed to fuel reduction in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) through the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

A Fuel Reduction Unit (FRU) has been established within the Tasmania Fire Service which has a key role in coordinating the implementation of the program across the whole‑of‑Government. The Fuel Reduction Program utilises the resources of the Tasmania Fire Service, the Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Tasmania and local councils to mitigate bushfire risk in a strategic, systematic way in urban, semi‑rural and some wilderness areas.

The program takes a strategic approach, and whilst other fuel treatments can and will be employed (for example mechanical removal), planned burning remains the most cost effective tool available for managing vegetation fuel loads, at the scale that is currently required.

State Emergency Service Transition to the Tasmania Fire Service

The 2016‑17 Budget included funding to assist in the transition of the State Emergency Service to the State Fire Commission whilst sustainable funding options are developed. Management arrangements were revised in 2014‑15 and the State Emergency Service now reports through the State Fire Commission.

State Fire Management Council

The State Fire Management Council (SFMC) is an independently chaired body established under section 14 of the Fire Service Act 1979. It has the following functions:

       to develop a state vegetation fire management policy to be used as the basis for all fire management planning;

       to advise and report regularly to the Minister on such matters relating to the administration of the Fire Service Act, as it applies to vegetation fire management; and

       to provide advice to the State Fire Commission regarding the prevention and mitigation of vegetation fires.

Legislative amendments in 2012 increased the roles and responsibilities of the SFMC, particularly in regard to re‑establishing Fire Management Area Committees (FMACs) with broader strategic fire management goals. In order to meet these enhanced responsibilities, the Commission provides the necessary bushfire planning and risk assessment expertise, and administrative support to both the SFMC and FMACs.

The SFMC plays a key role in the development of implementation strategies to deliver the Government's Fuel Reduction Program that delivers a tenure blind, risk based program of burns to reduce fuel in the areas that pose the greatest risk to the Tasmanian community.


Detailed Budget Statements

Table 24.2: Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

2016-17)

 

Budget)

2017-18)

 

Budget)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

2019-20)

Forward)

Estimate)

2020-21)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Grants1

6 062)

9 256)

4 100)

4 125)

4 151)

Taxation

67 197)

68 215)

71 088)

74 176)

76 583)

Sales of goods and services

6 001)

6 121)

6 244)

6 369)

6 496)

Fees and fines

164)

167)

171)

174)

178)

Interest

10)

10)

11)

11)

11)

Other revenue

10 403)

10 433)

10 461)

10 490)

10 520)

Total revenue and other income from transactions

89 837)

94 202)

92 075)

95 345)

97 939)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits

52 454)

53 797)

55 046)

56 130)

56 717)

Depreciation and amortisation

6 879)

6 666)

6 539)

6 390)

6 390)

Supplies and consumables2

28 772)

28 630)

28 904)

29 130)

29 870)

Borrowing costs3

418)

134)

131)

97)

....)

Other expenses2

2 943)

4 028)

4 116)

4 199)

4 199)

Total expenses from transactions

91 466)

93 255)

94 736)

95 946)

97 176)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result from transactions (net operating balance)

(1 629)

947)

(2 661)

(601)

763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

(1 629)

947)

(2 661)

(601)

763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other economic flows - other non-owner changes in equity

 

 

 

 

 

Other movements taken directly to equity4

(505)

....)

....)

....)

....)

Total other economic flows - other non-owner changes in equity

(505)

....)

....)

....)

....)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

(2 134)

947)

(2 661)

(601)

763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1. The increase in 2017-18 in Grants relates to one-off funding for Aerial Fire Appliances. The decrease in 2018‑19 relates to the cessation of additional funding for the transition of the State Emergency Service to the Tasmania Fire Service.

2. The decrease in Supplies and consumables and increase in Other expenses in 2017-18 primarily reflects the reclassification of the cost of sales.

3. The decrease in Borrowing costs reflects a reduction in interest payments due to the repayment of loans.

4. The Other movements taken directly to equity in 2016-17 reflects the timing of movements in the Commission's superannuation liability.

Table 24.3: Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2017)

 

Budget)

2018)

 

Budget)

2019)

Forward)

Estimate)

2020)

Forward)

Estimate)

2021)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits1

(1 152)

5 579)

6 157)

6 706)

5 789)

Receivables2

1 816)

2 749)

2 749)

2 749)

2 749)

Other financial assets3

1 657)

2 581)

2 581)

2 581)

2 581)

 

2 321)

10 909)

11 487)

12 036)

11 119)

Non-financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Inventories

1 634)

1 643)

1 643)

1 643)

1 643)

Property, plant and equipment4

104 016)

99 014)

96 375)

95 025)

94 675)

Other assets

1 446)

1 446)

1 446)

1 446)

1 446)

 

107 096)

102 103)

99 464)

98 114)

97 764)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

109 417)

113 012)

110 951)

110 150)

108 883)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables

2 336)

2 507)

2 507)

2 707)

2 907)

Interest bearing liabilities5

4 830)

3 830)

3 830)

2 830)

....)

Employee benefits

15 766)

16 159)

16 759)

17 359)

17 959)

Superannuation6

316)

7 386)

7 386)

7 386)

7 386)

Total liabilities

23 248)

29 882)

30 482)

30 282)

28 252)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

86 169)

83 130)

80 469)

79 868)

80 631)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Reserves

18 916)

18 943)

18 943)

18 943)

18 943)

Accumulated funds

67 253)

64 187)

61 526)

60 925)

61 688)

Total equity

86 169)

83 130)

80 469)

79 868)

80 631)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1. The increase in Cash and deposits is attributed to a decrease in cash payments for the procurement or construction of Property, plant and equipment in accordance with the State Fire Commission's Corporate Plan.

2. The increase in Receivables reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2016 outcome and primarily relates to an increase in trade debtors.

3. The increase in Other financial assets reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2016 outcome and primarily relates to an increase in accrued revenue.

4. The decrease in Property, plant and equipment reflects a reduction in the procurement or construction of buildings, fire appliances and equipment in accordance with the State Fire Commission's Corporate Plan.

5. The decrease in Interest bearing liabilities reflects the repayment of loans over the Forward Estimates.

6. The increase in Superannuation reflects an increase in the present value of defined benefit obligations as at 30 June 2016.


 

Table 24.4: Statement of Cash Flows

 

2016-17)

 

Budget)

2017-18)

 

Budget)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

2019-20)

Forward)

Estimate)

2020-21)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Grants1

6 062)

9 256)

4 100)

4 125)

4 151)

Taxation

65 276)

65 943)

68 612)

71 496)

73 807)

Sales of goods and services

6 001)

6 121)

6 244)

6 369)

6 496)

Fees and fines

164)

167)

171)

174)

178)

GST receipts

1 895)

1 868)

1 939)

1 852)

1 852)

Interest received

10)

10)

11)

11)

11)

Other cash receipts

10 404)

10 433)

10 461)

10 490)

10 520)

Total cash inflows

89 812)

93 798)

91 538)

94 517)

97 015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits

(47 126)

(48 280)

(49 411)

(50 382)

(50 854)

Superannuation

(5 328)

(5 517)

(5 635)

(5 748)

(5 863)

Borrowing costs2

(418)

(134)

(131)

(97)

....)

GST payments

(1 895)

(1 868)

(1 939)

(1 852)

(1 852)

Supplies and consumables

(26 561)

(26 848)

(26 936)

(26 918)

(27 662)

Other cash payments

(2 943)

(3 061)

(3 128)

(3 191)

(3 191)

Total cash outflows

(84 271)

(85 708)

(87 180)

(88 188)

(89 422)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from (used by) operating activities

5 541)

8 090)

4 358)

6 329)

7 593)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Payments for acquisition of non-financial assets3

(6 320)

(1 930)

(4 080)

(5 080)

(5 980)

Proceeds from the disposal of non-financial assets4

300)

120)

300)

300)

300)

Net cash from (used by) investing activities

(6 020)

(1 810)

(3 780)

(4 780)

(5 680)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Net borrowings5

....)

(1 000)

....)

(1 000)

(2 830)

Net cash from (used by) financing activities

....)

(1 000)

....)

(1 000)

(2 830)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents held

(479)

5 280)

578)

549)

(917)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting period

(673)

299)

5 579)

6 157)

6 706)

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

(1 152)

5 579)

6 157)

6 706)

5 789)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1. The increase in 2017-18 in Grants relates to one-off funding for Aerial Fire Appliances. The decrease in 2018‑19 reflects the cessation of additional funding for the transition of the State Emergency Service to the Tasmania Fire Service.

2. The decrease in Borrowing costs reflects a reduction in interest payments due to the repayment of loans.

3. The movements in Payments for acquisition of non-financial assets reflects a reduction in the procurement or construction of buildings, fire appliances and equipment in accordance with the State Fire Commission's Corporate Plan.

4. The movement in Proceeds from the disposal of non-financial assets reflects a reduction in planned motor vehicle sale proceeds in 2017-18.

5. The movements in Net borrowings reflects the anticipated loan repayment schedule.