26††† State Fire Commission

Authority Outline

The State Fire Commissionís 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:

       managing incidents involving hazardous materials, including response to terrorist incidents involving chemical, biological and radiological agents;

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

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

       a range of community fire safety programs that guard against structural fire and bushfire;

       fire investigations; and

       coordinating Fuel Reduction Program activities on behalf of the Government.

The State Fire Commission reports to the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Hon Mark Shelton 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 Commissionís financial information for 2020‑21 and over the Forward Estimates (2021‑22 to 2023‑24). Further information on the Commission can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au.

Key Deliverables

Table 26.1 provides a summary of the Budget and Forward Estimates allocations for key deliverables being undertaken by the Commission.

Table 26.1:†††††† Key Deliverables Statement1

 

2020‑21

 

Budget

2021‑22

Forward

Estimate

2022‑23

Forward

Estimate

2023‑24

Forward

Estimate

 

$'000

$'000

$'000

$'000

 

 

 

 

 

Bushfires ‑ New Act Creation

75

....

....

....

Bushfires Fuel Reduction Activities ‑ Private Landholders

295

....

....

....

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program2

5 700

3 000

4 100

3 000

Fire Station Build Program

1 040

740

900

800

Fuel Reduction Teams

2 325

2 325

2 325

2 325

Regional Emergency Management Planning and Development

387

396

406

....

Remote Area Teams

160

160

....

....

SES Community Protection Planning for Flood and Storm Hazard

200

472

488

505

State Fire Commission Support

4 000

4 000

....

....

Supporting our Emergency Services Volunteers

500

500

....

....

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.    All initiatives other than the Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program and the Fire Station Build Program are funded through the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.

2.    Funding includes the Aerial Appliance Replacement Program.

Bushfires ‑ New Act Creation

Funding of $75 000 has been provided in 2020‑21, to continue the development of bushfire mitigation legislation commenced in 2019‑20. The legislation aims to improve bushfire mitigation in Tasmania by streamlining approval processes to reduce fuel and mechanically clear vegetation, and ensuring clear accountability for landholders and occupants.

Bushfires Fuel Reduction Activities ‑ Private Landholders

Funding of $295 000 has been provided in 2020‑21 (following the provision of similar funding in 2019‑20), to help landowners plan and undertake fuel reduction activities. The revised program, known as Red Hot Tips, is designed to educate, engage, and support farmers and rural landholders to actively manage their bushfire risk, while encouraging collaborative, practical vegetation fire management and ecological sustainability.

Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program

The Commission is committed to providing its fire fighters with safe and operationally effective fire appliances, allocated using a fit‑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.

The 2020‑21 Budget and Forward Estimates allocation of $15.8 million will fund the rolling Fire Fighting Appliance Replacement Program, which will see the purchase or fabrication of medium tankers, and the procurement of heavy pumpers and aerial appliances.

Fire Station Build Program

This initiative is part of an ongoing program for capital upgrades to Commission facilities, which includes a combination of refurbishment and replacement 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 fightersí 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 Teams

The Government has allocated an additional $9.3 million over four years from 2020‑21 to enable the development of two dedicated Fuel Reduction Teams. This will include 12 additional staff members within the Tasmania Fire Service Bushfire Risk Unit to undertake Fuel Reduction Program bushfire risk reduction activities across the State.

Regional Emergency Management Planning and Development

The State Fire Commission will continue the implementation of the four year initiative to enable the SES to employ Regional Emergency Management Planning and Development Officers. These officers are supporting municipal authorities with emergency management planning as well as providing education support.

This initiative supports the implementation of the Governmentís response to the 2015 Independent Review of Emergency Management Arrangements in Tasmania, conducted by the Department of Justice. This initiative is funded by an allocation provided in 2019‑20 of $1.5 million over four years.

Remote Area Teams

The State Fire Commission will continue the implementation of the four year initiative to 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 firefighting skills in this specialised field. This will provide an exciting career path for those volunteers with good physical fitness levels. This initiative is funded by an allocation provided in 2018‑19 of $535 000 over four years.

SES Community Protection Planning for Flood and Storm Hazard

Funding of $1.7 million over the 2020‑21 Budget and Forward Estimates period has been allocated to support additional work on flood policy. This further supports the ongoing implementation of the Governmentís response to the Review of the Tasmanian Floods of June and July 2016.


 

State Fire Commission Support

The 2020‑21 Budget provides $8 million over two years to support the Commissionís activities. This funding is in recognition of the impact of the Governmentís decision to freeze the Fire Service Contribution increase, for 2020, as part of the Governmentís COVID‑19 pandemic response to minimise the impact of cost increases on the Tasmanian community. The funding will also be used to support Tasmaniaís ongoing capacity to respond to bushfire by providing initial support for the development of a dedicated division within the Tasmania Fire Service to manage the planning and response to bushfire at a whole of state level.

Supporting our Emergency Services Volunteers

The State Fire Commission will continue the implementation of a four year initiative to enable all Volunteer Units from the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service to apply for upgrades to equipment. This initiative is funded by an allocation provided in 2018‑19 of $2 million over four years.


 

Detailed Budget Statements

Table 26.2:†††††† Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

2019‑20 

2020‑21 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income

 

 

 

 

 

Grants1

4 901 

11 606 

11 271 

6 715 

6 752 

Taxation

77 145 

79 145 

82 152 

84 880 

87 734 

Sales of goods and services

6 191 

6 383 

6 511 

6 641 

6 774 

Fees and fines

170 

173 

177 

180 

184 

Interest

250 

250 

250 

250 

250 

Other revenue2

10 552 

8 502 

8 527 

8 548 

8 569 

Total revenue

99 209 

106 059 

108 888 

107 214 

110 263 

Total income

99 209 

106 059 

108 888 

107 214 

110 263 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits3

50 209 

53 514 

54 680 

55 893 

57 127 

Depreciation and amortisation

6 390 

6 390 

6 390 

6 390 

6 390 

Supplies and consumables4

38 672 

41 638 

46 300 

42 809 

43 584 

Borrowing costs

117 

83 

.... 

.... 

.... 

Other expenses

3 819 

3 664 

3 745 

3 831 

3 918 

Total expenses

99 207 

105 289 

111 115 

108 923 

111 019 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

770 

(2 227)

(1 709)

(756)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

770 

(2 227)

(1 709)

(756)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.    The variation in Grants reflects funding for the Bushfires Fuel Reduction Activities ‑ Private Landowners, Fuel Reduction Teams, Bushfires ‑ New Act Creation, and State Fire Commission Support initiatives.

2.    The decrease in Other revenue in 2020‑21 reflects the removal of $2 million of Fuel Reduction funding, which is now allocated directly to Sustainable Timber Tasmania by the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.

3.    The increase in Employee benefits primarily reflects additional staffing costs associated with the Fuel Reduction Teams and State Fire Commission Support initiatives.

4.    The increase in Supplies and consumables in 2020‑21 primarily reflects increased expenditure estimates for Repairs and Maintenance and Workersí Compensation premium.


 

Table 26.3:†††††† Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2020 

2021 

2022 

2023 

2024 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits1

9 350 

8 819 

5 425 

1 770 

673 

Receivables

2 734 

2 734 

2 734 

2 734 

2 734 

Other financial assets

2 481 

2 481 

2 481 

2 481 

2 481 

 

14 565 

14 034 

10 640 

6 985 

5 888 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non‑financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Inventories

1 905 

1 905 

1 905 

1 905 

1 905 

Property, plant and equipment2

124 271 

131 793 

132 160 

133 306 

133 017 

Other assets

1 196 

1 196 

1 196 

1 196 

1 196 

 

127 372 

134 894 

135 261 

136 407 

136 118 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

141 937 

148 928 

145 901 

143 392 

142 006 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables

4 499 

4 499 

4 699 

4 899 

5 099 

Interest bearing liabilities3

3 830 

2 830 

1 830 

830 

.... 

Employee benefits

14 324 

14 324 

14 324 

14 324 

14 324 

Superannuation4

(779)

(779)

(779)

(779)

(779)

Total liabilities

21 874 

20 874 

20 074 

19 274 

18 644 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

120 063 

128 054 

125 827 

124 118 

123 362 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Reserves

45 698 

45 698 

45 698 

45 698 

45 698 

Accumulated funds

74 365 

82 356 

80 129 

78 420 

77 664 

Total equity

120 063 

128 054 

125 827 

124 118 

123 362 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.    The variation in Cash and deposits primarily reflects the impact of the Commissionís operating position and the State Fire Commissionís debt reduction strategies.

2.    The increase in Property, plant and equipment in 2021 primarily reflects the planned purchase of additional aerial appliances.

3.    The decrease in Interest bearing liabilities in 2021 reflects the implementation of debt reduction strategies implemented by the State Fire Commission.

4.    The Superannuation liability reflects an actuarial determination that assets exceed the liability owing to members.


 

Table 26.4:†††††† Statement of Cash Flows

 

2019‑20 

2020‑21 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Grants1

4 901 

11 606 

11 271 

6 715 

6 752 

Taxation

74 684 

76 679 

79 550 

82 167 

84 905 

Sales of goods and services

6 191 

6 383 

6 511 

6 641 

6 774 

Fees and fines

170 

173 

177 

180 

184 

GST receipts2

1 852 

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

Interest received

250 

250 

250 

250 

250 

Other cash receipts3

10 552 

8 502 

8 527 

8 548 

8 569 

Total cash inflows

98 600 

103 593 

106 286 

104 501 

107 434 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits4

(44 216)

(47 866)

(48 902)

(49 979)

(51 074)

Superannuation

(5 993)

(5 648)

(5 778)

(5 914)

(6 053)

Borrowing costs

(117)

(83)

.... 

.... 

.... 

GST payments2

(1 852)

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

Supplies and consumables5

(36 260)

(39 333)

(43 858)

(40 256)

(40 915)

Other cash payments

(3 819)

(3 664)

(3 745)

(3 831)

(3 918)

Total cash outflows

(92 257)

(96 594)

(102 283)

(99 980)

(101 960)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from (used by) operating activities

6 343 

6 999 

4 003 

4 521 

5 474 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Payments for acquisition of non‑financial assets

(7 469)

(9 998)

(6 757)

(7 536)

(6 101)

Proceeds from the disposal of non‑financial assets

300 

300 

360 

360 

360 

Net cash from (used by) investing activities

(7 169)

(9 698)

(6 397)

(7 176)

(5 741)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Net borrowings

.... 

(1 000)

(1 000)

(1 000)

(830)

Net cash from (used by) financing activities

.... 

(1 000)

(1 000)

(1 000)

(830)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents held

(826)

(3 699)

(3 394)

(3 655)

(1 097)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting period

10 176 

12 518 

8 819 

5 425 

1 770 

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

9 350 

8 819 

5 425 

1 770 

673 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Notes:

1.    The variation in Grants reflects funding for the Bushfires Fuel Reduction Activities ‑ Private Landowners, Fuel Reduction Teams, Bushfires ‑ New Act Creation, and State Fire Commission Support initiatives.

2.    The decrease in GST receipts and GST payments reflects a more accurate estimate based on the 30 June 2019 outcome.

3.    The variation in Other cash receipts in 2020‑21 reflects for a reduction of $2 million for Fuel Reduction funding, which is now allocated directly to Sustainable Timber Tasmania from the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.

4.    The increase in Employee benefits in 2020‑21 primarily reflects additional staffing costs associated with the Fuel Reduction Teams and the State Fire Commission Support initiatives.

5.    The increase in Supplies and consumables in 2020‑21 and 2021‑22 primarily reflects increased expenditure on Repairs and Maintenance and Workersí Compensation.