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.

The State Fire Commission reports to the Minister for Police and Emergency Management, Hon Rene Hidding MP, and the supporting agency is the Department of Police 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 2015‑16 and over the Forward Estimates period (2016‑17 to 2018‑19). 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

 

2015‑16

 

Budget

2016‑17 Forward Estimate

2017‑18 Forward Estimate

2018‑19 Forward Estimate

 

$'000

$'000

$'000

$'000

 

 

 

 

 

Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program

581

580

590

601

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

2 500

3 200

3 450

4 150

Fire Station Build Program

600

1 200

1 215

1 095

Information Technology Replacement Program

390

390

390

340

Red Hot Tips

154

....

....

....

State Emergency Service

2 538

2 596

2 653

2 706

State Fire Management Council

770

613

628

644

 

 

 

 

 

Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program

The Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program commenced in 2013‑14. This Program is included in the Commission's five year plan at a total cost of $2.8 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 which are not prepared for bushfire. This Program will provide information for everyone in the community to enable them to prepare for hazards, particularly low frequency hazards such as bushfires.

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

The Commission is committed to providing its fire fighters with safe and operationally effective fire trucks, allocated on a 'fitness for purpose' basis. The Commission has developed a rolling and sustainable fire truck replacement program that will ultimately result in a decline in the maximum age of its operational fleet of trucks from in excess of 25 years, to somewhere in the vicinity of 20 years of age.

Total funding of $13.3 million over a four year period has been allocated to the Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program, which will see the heavy tanker fleet upgraded to crew cab appliances, additional medium and light tankers fabricated, as well as the purchase of two new pumpers and the refurbishment of aerial appliances.


 

Fire Station Build Program

An amount of $4.1 million has been allocated over the next four years 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 reducing the exposure to diesel particulate through better station design; this will include the separation of fire fighter's personal protective clothing from fire fighting 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.

Information Technology Replacement Program

The replacement program for the computer and network infrastructure will continue to focus on the transition to Voice‑Over‑Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology. This is necessary due to the decommissioning of the current Government phone network that uses the spectrum network. The In‑Vehicle Computer project, to provide more accurate and timely information in the management of emergencies and surrounding location to the crew in transit and during the event, will also continue in 2015‑16.

Red Hot Tips

The Red Hot Tips Program was committed for three years from 2013‑14 with a total cost of approximately $463 000. The purpose of the Program is to assist landholders in rural areas of Tasmania implement safe and strategic planned burning of native vegetation on private land. Planned burning is a very important tool for managing fuel hazards and for enhancing biodiversity and native vegetation condition, including enhancing regeneration and assisting in weed management.

State Emergency Service

Management arrangements within the Department of Police and Emergency Management (DPEM) have been revised and the State Emergency Service (SES) now reports through the Tasmania Fire Service, better reflecting the close alignment of these agencies. The SES and the Commission have many synergies; they both have a large pool of dedicated volunteers, work together on emergency incidents and many of their premises are co‑located.

Under the new arrangement, the Director of the SES reports through the Chief Fire Officer to the Secretary of DPEM (Commissioner of Police). Previously, the Director reported directly to the Secretary.

The Commission provides ongoing funding for the SES of $2.5 million in 2015‑16 increasing to $2.7 million in 2018‑19.

There will be no change to the operational role of either agency or the way employees and volunteers respond to emergencies.


 

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 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 will provide 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 $28.5 million Fuel Reduction Burns election commitment that will produce a tenure blind, risk based program of burns to reduce fuel in the areas that pose the greatest risk to the Tasmanian community. The $28.5 million funding is provided to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. The State Fire Commission will contribute an additional $770 000 in 2015‑16 including $398 000 for the employment of 3.4 Full Time Equivalents to support the Fuel Reduction Unit.


Detailed Budget Statements

Table 24.2: Statement of Comprehensive Income1

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Grants

3 083)

4 989)

5 021)

5 051)

5 082)

Taxation

62 225)

64 689)

66 444)

68 708)

70 590)

Sales of goods and services

5 807)

5 874)

6 021)

6 172)

6 326)

Interest

150)

51)

53)

54)

55)

Other revenue2

1 180)

1 573)

1 610)

1 650)

1 690)

Total revenue and other income from transactions

72 445)

77 176)

79 149)

81 635)

83 743)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits

46 078)

48 024)

48 811)

49 799)

50 806)

Depreciation and amortisation

6 303)

6 937)

6 687)

6 509)

6 409)

Supplies and consumables

19 849)

21 887)

21 944)

22 246)

22 682)

Borrowing costs

240)

330)

330)

330)

330)

Other expenses

3 732)

3 892)

3 913)

3 990)

4 069)

Total expenses from transactions

76 202)

81 070)

81 685)

82 874)

84 296)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result from transactions (net operating balance)

(3 757)

(3 894)

(2 536)

(1 239)

(553)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

(3 757)

(3 894)

(2 536)

(1 239)

(553)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

(3 757)

(3 894)

(2 536)

(1 239)

(553)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1. Administrative arrangements relating to the transition of the SES from the Department of Police and Emergency Management to the State Fire Commission are expected to be finalised in 2015‑16. As a result, the financial statements for both the Department and State Fire Commission may be subject to future amendment.

2. The increase in Other revenue in 2015‑16 reflects reimbursement from the Fuel Reduction Burns funding held within the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment for the employment of two regional planners.

 


 

Table 24.3: Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2015)

 

Budget)

2016)

 

Budget)

2017)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018)

Forward)

Estimate)

2019)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits

714)

505)

(273)

(378)

(377)

Receivables1

2 410)

1 522)

1 522)

1 522)

1 522)

Other financial assets

1 789)

1 743)

1 743)

1 743)

1 743)

 

4 913)

3 770)

2 992)

2 887)

2 888)

Non-financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Inventories

1 454)

1 438)

1 438)

1 438)

1 438)

Property, plant and equipment1

106 041)

102 303)

101 346)

100 811)

100 857)

Other assets

1 120)

1 211)

1 211)

1 211)

1 211)

 

108 615)

104 952)

103 995)

103 460)

103 506)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

113 528)

108 722)

106 987)

106 347)

106 394)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables1

3 404)

1 664)

1 864)

1 864)

1 864)

Interest bearing liabilities2

3 330)

4 830)

4 830)

4 830)

4 830)

Employee benefits

13 422)

15 022)

15 623)

16 222)

16 822)

Superannuation

1 321)

1 176)

1 176)

1 176)

1 176)

Other liabilities3

....)

323)

323)

323)

323)

Total liabilities

21 477)

23 015)

23 816)

24 415)

25 015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

92 051)

85 707)

83 171)

81 932)

81 379)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Reserves

17 499)

17 732)

17 732)

17 732)

17 732)

Accumulated funds

74 552)

67 975)

65 439)

64 200)

63 647)

Total equity

92 051)

85 707)

83 171)

81 932)

81 379)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1. The decrease in Receivables, Property, plant and equipment and Payables in 2016 reflects revised estimates based on 30 June 2014 actuals.

2. The increase in Interest bearing liabilities in 2016 reflects the funding of the Commission's capital expenditure program.

3. The increase in Other liabilities in 2016 reflects revised estimates based on 30 June 2014 actuals.

 


 

Table 24.4: Statement of Cash Flows

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Grants

3 083)

4 989)

5 021)

5 051)

5 082)

Taxation

62 225)

64 689)

66 444)

68 708)

70 590)

Sales of goods and services

5 246)

5 874)

6 021)

6 172)

6 326)

GST receipts

561)

....)

....)

....)

....)

Interest received

150)

51)

53)

54)

55)

Other cash receipts

1 180)

1 274)

1 611)

1 650)

1 690)

Total cash inflows

72 445)

76 877)

79 150)

81 635)

83 743)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits

(41 047)

(42 669)

(43 451)

(44 331)

(45 229)

Superannuation

(5 031)

(5 355)

(5 360)

(5 468)

(5 577)

Borrowing costs

(240)

(330)

(330)

(330)

(330)

GST payments

(2 038)

....)

....)

....)

....)

Supplies and consumables

(17 906)

(24 247)

(22 605)

(23 125)

(23 580)

Other cash payments

(3 637)

(2 943)

(2 962)

(3 021)

(3 081)

Total cash outflows

(69 899)

(75 544)

(74 708)

(76 275)

(77 797)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from (used by) operating activities

2 546)

1 333)

4 442)

5 360)

5 946)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Payments for acquisition of non-financial assets

(5 930)

(4 120)

(5 520)

(5 765)

(6 245)

Proceeds from the disposal of non-financial assets

300)

300)

300)

300)

300)

Net cash from (used by) investing activities

(5 630)

(3 820)

(5 220)

(5 465)

(5 945)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Net borrowings

....)

1 500)

....)

....)

....)

Net cash from (used by) financing activities

....)

1 500)

....)

....)

....)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents held

(3 084)

(987)

(778)

(105)

1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting period

3 798)

1 492)

505)

(273)

(378)

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

714)

505)

(273)

(378)

(377)