25    State Fire Commission

Authority Outline

The State Fire Commission’s primary purpose is to minimise the social, economic and environmental impact of fire and other emergencies on the Tasmanian community. This is achieved through implementing strategies for the Tasmania Fire Service that develop resilience to prevent and prepare for emergencies.

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 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 Michael Ferguson 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 2018‑19 and over the Forward Estimates period (2019‑20 to 2021‑22). Further information on the Commission can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au.


Key Deliverables

Table 25.1 provides a summary of the Budget and Forward Estimate allocations for key deliverables by the Commission.

Table 25.1:       Key Deliverables Statement

 

2018‑19

2019‑20

2020‑21

2021‑22

 

 

Budget

Forward

Estimate

Forward

Estimate

Forward

Estimate

 

$'000

$'000

$'000

$'000

 

 

 

 

 

Election Commitments

 

 

 

 

Remote Area Teams

100

115

160

160

Supporting our Emergency Services Volunteers

500

500

500

500

 

 

 

 

 

Other Initiatives

 

 

 

 

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program1

2 225

3 250

3 250

3 625

Fire Station Build Program

400

800

800

800

Fuel Reduction Program

9 000

9 000

9 000

9 000

State Fire Management Council

758

773

788

803

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.   Funding includes Aerial Replacement Program that was previously reported separately in 2017-18.

Remote Area Teams

The Government will develop, sustain and grow Remote Area Teams capacity from suitable volunteer fire fighters around the State. Selected volunteers will undergo helicopter insertion training and gain fire fighting skills in this specialised field. The training will be undertaken by the Tasmania Fire Service and will fill the identified need for more firefighters with these skills. This will provide an exciting career path for those volunteers with good physical fitness levels. This initiative is funded by an allocation totalling $535 000 over the next four years.

Supporting our Emergency Services Volunteers

The Government will provide the State Fire Commission with $2 million over the next four years to allow all Volunteer Units from the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service to apply for upgrades to equipment.

The Volunteer Units, in association with the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service, will determine what equipment will be purchased with these funds.


 

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

The Commission is committed to providing its fire fighters with safe and operationally effective fire appliances, 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 and matched to risk. The Commission has endorsed a sustainable replacement program that will ensure that all fire appliances remain viable for operation in a safe and effective manner.

Over a four year period $12.4 million will fund the Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program, which will see the internal fabrication of medium tankers, and the purchase of heavy pumpers and aerial appliances.

Fire Station Build Program

Total funding of $2.8 million has been allocated over four 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, particularly  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 firefighting.

Fuel Reduction Program

The Government has provided significant forward funding for the whole‑of‑government Fuel Reduction Program, to reduce bushfire risk to Tasmanian communities. The Fuel Reduction Unit established within the Tasmania Fire Service, has a key role in coordinating the implementation of the program across the whole‑of‑government.

The Government has provided funding of $9 million per annum from 2017‑18 to ensure the continuation of the Fuel Reduction Program and an increase in strategic fuel reduction burning across the State. As part of this program, $500 000 per annum is directed to fuel reduction in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

The Fuel Reduction Program utilises the resources of the Tasmania Fire Service, the Parks and Wildlife Service, Sustainable Timber Tasmania and local councils to mitigate bushfire risk in a strategic, systematic way in urban, semi‑rural and some wilderness areas. 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’s Fuel Reduction 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 Fire Management Council

The State Fire Management Council is an independently chaired body established under section 14 of the Fire Service Act 1979. The SFMC 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;

·       to provide advice to the State Fire Commission on matters relating to the prevention and mitigation of vegetation fires; and

·       to oversee and support Fire Management Area Committees who develop Fire Protection Plans that identify, assess and prioritise mitigation activities for community bushfire risks in Fire Management Areas.

The SFMC approves Fire Protection Plans developed by the FMACs. These plans play a key role in the prioritisation of mitigation strategies to reduce bushfire risk across the landscape and, in particular, support the Government’s ‘tenure‑blind’ strategic Fuel Reduction Program.

The SFMC operates using a Strategic Direction Framework with a focus on communicating and managing bushfire risk, fostering and maintaining effective relationships, and building community capacity.

The Commission provides the necessary bushfire planning and risk assessment expertise, and executive and administrative support to both the SFMC and FMACs.


Detailed Budget Statements

Table 25.2:       Statement of Comprehensive Income1

 

2017-18 

2018-19 

2019-20 

2020-21 

2021-22 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Grants2

9 256 

4 242 

4 275 

4 308 

4 343 

Taxation

68 215 

71 090 

74 176 

76 583 

79 111 

Sales of goods and services

6 121 

6 130 

6 253 

6 379 

6 509 

Fees and fines

167 

183 

187 

191 

194 

Interest

10 

43 

44 

45 

46 

Other revenue

10 433 

10 468 

10 498 

10 528 

10 558 

Total revenue and other income from transactions

94 202 

92 156 

95 433 

98 034 

100 761 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits3

53 797 

47 722 

48 622 

49 538 

51 058 

Depreciation and amortisation

6 666 

6 539 

6 390 

6 390 

6 390 

Supplies and consumables3

28 630 

35 808 

36 345 

37 123 

38 216 

Borrowing costs4

134 

117 

117 

83 

.... 

Other expenses3

4 028 

3 431 

3 634 

3 705 

3 778 

Total expenses from transactions

93 255 

93 617 

95 108 

96 839 

99 442 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result from transactions (net operating balance)

947 

(1 461)

325 

1 195 

1 319 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other economic flows included in net result

 

 

 

 

 

Net gain/(loss) on non-financial assets

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

60 

Total other economic flows included in net result

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

60 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

947 

(1 461)

325 

1 195 

1 379 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

947 

(1 461)

325 

1 195 

1 379 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.   Authority estimates do not include the indexation impact of any variations to Authority expenditure that have been made since the finalisation of the Revised Estimates Report 2017-18 (including December Quarterly Report). For further information see chapter 1 of this Budget Paper.

2.   The decrease in Grants from 2018‑19 reflects the cessation of both one‑off funding for Aerial Fire Appliances provided in 2017‑18 and additional funding for the transition of the State Emergency Service to the Tasmania Fire Service.

3.   The variation in Employee benefits, Supplies and consumables and Other expenses in 2018-19 reflects a review of the Authority’s Budget estimates and a resulting reallocation between expenditure items.

4.   The decrease in Borrowing costs reflects a reduction in interest payments as loans are repaid.


 

Table 25.3:       Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2018 

2019 

2020 

2021 

2022 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits1

5 579 

9 339 

9 675 

10 361 

11 185 

Receivables2

2 749 

1 420 

1 420 

1 420 

1 420 

Other financial assets2

2 581 

2 282 

2 282 

2 282 

2 282 

 

10 909 

13 041 

13 377 

14 063 

14 887 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Inventories

1 643 

1 643 

1 643 

1 643 

1 643 

Property, plant and equipment3

99 014 

122 510 

122 299 

122 608 

122 133 

Other assets

1 446 

1 017 

1 017 

1 017 

1 017 

 

102 103 

125 170 

124 959 

125 268 

124 793 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

113 012 

138 211 

138 336 

139 331 

139 680 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables

2 507 

2 507 

2 707 

2 907 

3 107 

Interest bearing liabilities4

3 830 

3 830 

2 830 

1 830 

.... 

Employee benefits

16 159 

15 086 

15 686 

16 286 

16 886 

Superannuation5

7 386 

1 775 

1 775 

1 775 

1 775 

Total liabilities

29 882 

23 198 

22 998 

22 798 

21 768 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

83 130 

115 013 

115 338 

116 533 

117 912 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Reserves

18 943 

45 698 

45 698 

45 698 

45 698 

Accumulated funds

64 187 

69 315 

69 640 

70 835 

72 214 

Total equity

83 130 

115 013 

115 338 

116 533 

117 912 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.   The increase in Cash and deposits in 2019 reflects the financial management and debt reduction strategies implemented by the State Fire Commission.

2.   The decrease in Receivables and Other financial assets in 2019 reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2017 outcome and primarily relates to a decrease in accrued revenue.

3.   The increase in Property, plant and equipment in 2019 reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2017 outcome which included a revaluation of land and buildings, and capital investment initiatives in accordance with the State Fire Commission’s Corporate Plan.

4.   The decrease in Interest bearing liabilities reflects debt reduction strategies implemented by the State Fire Commission.

5.   The decrease in Superannuation reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2017 outcome.

 


 

Table 25.4:       Statement of Cash Flows

 

2017-18 

2018-19 

2019-20 

2020-21 

2021-22 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Grants1

9 256 

4 242 

4 275 

4 308 

4 343 

Taxation

65 943 

68 601 

71 572 

73 870 

76 283 

Sales of goods and services

6 121 

6 130 

6 253 

6 379 

6 509 

Fees and fines

167 

183 

187 

191 

194 

GST receipts

1 868 

1 939 

1 852 

1 852 

1 852 

Interest received

10 

43 

43 

46 

46 

Other cash receipts

10 433 

10 468 

10 498 

10 528 

10 558 

Total cash inflows

93 798 

91 606 

94 680 

97 174 

99 785 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits2

(48 280)

(41 713)

(42 497)

(43 295)

(44 695)

Superannuation2

(5 517)

(6 009)

(6 125)

(6 243)

(6 363)

Borrowing costs3

(134)

(117)

(117)

(83)

.... 

GST payments

(1 868)

(1 939)

(1 852)

(1 852)

(1 852)

Supplies and consumables2

(26 848)

(32 839)

(33 200)

(33 971)

(34 949)

Other cash payments2

(3 061)

(3 566)

(3 634)

(3 705)

(3 777)

Total cash outflows

(85 708)

(86 183)

(87 425)

(89 149)

(91 636)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from (used by) operating activities

8 090 

5 423 

7 255 

8 025 

8 149 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Payments for acquisition of non-financial assets4

(1 930)

(4 904)

(6 219)

(6 639)

(5 855)

Proceeds from the disposal of non-financial assets

120 

300 

300 

300 

360 

Net cash from (used by) investing activities

(1 810)

(4 604)

(5 919)

(6 339)

(5 495)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Net borrowings5

(1 000)

.... 

(1 000)

(1 000)

(1 830)

Net cash from (used by) financing activities

(1 000)

.... 

(1 000)

(1 000)

(1 830)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

held

5 280 

819 

336 

686 

824 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting

period

299 

8 520 

9 339 

9 675 

10 361 

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

5 579 

9 339 

9 675 

10 361 

11 185 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

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

2.   The variation in Employee benefits, Superannuation, Supplies and consumables and Other cash payments in 2018-19 reflects a review by the State Fire Commission of the Authority’s Budget estimates and a resulting reallocation between expenditure reporting items.

3.   The decrease in Borrowing costs reflects a reduction in interest payments as loans are repaid.

4.   The variation in Payments for acquisition of non‑financial assets reflects capital investment initiatives in accordance with the State Fire Commission’s Corporate Plan.

5.   The variation in Net borrowings reflects debt reduction strategies implemented by the State Fire Commission.