Revelations that Queensland’s once proud State Emergency Service (SES) is hemorrhaging volunteers and facing systemic decline under the Palaszczuk Labor Government is sounding alarm bells as the state enters the upcoming bushfire, storm, flood and cyclone season.
A parliamentary Question on Notice asked by LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar* has revealed that in the past five years nearly 1000 volunteers have walked from the SES.
“A 15 per cent slump in SES membership under the Palaszczuk Labor Government is unforgivable,” Mr Millar said.
“The question also revealed that more than 20 SES branches had closed throughout the state in the last 5 years.
“It’s clear that the SES is in crisis and volunteers are choosing to walk in droves.
“Most concerningly is the locations of where these SES branches have closed.
“Eight of these branches have been in the Mackay region and the recent closure in the Redlands is alarming due to the large population base.
“We know things are not in a good way because Labor Minister Craig Crawford has a secret $250,000 review into the SES structures and culture but refuses to release it to the public**.
“It’s time for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to come clean and release the SES review for the sake of the thousands of volunteers crying out for action.
“Queenslanders and our SES Volunteers deserve to know what went wrong and who is responsible.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk Labor Government has overseen the decline of SES in Queensland.
“With Queensland’s tendency for natural disasters we would expect the state to be ready to deal with upcoming bushfire, storm, flood and cyclones.
“Queenslanders are being placed at unnecessary risk due to this Labor Government’s incompetence and mismanagement ahead of the start of the natural disaster season.”
* Question on Notice No. 771: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/771-2020.pdf
** Question on Notice No. 625: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/625-2020.pdf