Sweeping frontline reform package delivers big boost to State Emergency Service

26 October 2022

The sweeping reform package unveiled today for Queensland’s frontline responders includes a record increase to the budget for our SES volunteers.

The government’s reforms include a $400 million investment over four years that will deliver nearly 500 extra frontline personnel.

This investment will also grow the SES annual budget of $60 million per year, up from the current baseline of $23 million.

That will mean more SES personnel and more resources, including crucial safety equipment, vehicles and vessels, and more support for councils for certain expenses, like operational vehicle maintenance and fuel.

To oversee these reforms, the Palaszczuk Government will stand up a Reform Implementation Taskforce, led by State Disaster Coordinator, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.

The Taskforce will work closely with all stakeholders, including local councils, to ensure the required changes will be undertaken in a measured, consistent and cohesive way.

A strength of the SES is its partnership between the community and State and Local Governments – this will always remain the case.

In addition the SES will become its own separate entity with its own dedicated budget.

Further, given the long-running and close working relationship the SES has with police, the SES will be hosted by the Queensland Police Service’s overarching structure and associated support services.

Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said these changes would provide an enhanced frontline response capability when natural disasters and other emergencies impact the state.

“Every reform the government is undertaking is aimed at providing Queenslanders with the best possible frontline support.

“Everyone in the community sees the extraordinary efforts of our dedicated SES volunteers when natural disasters strike.

“By setting up the SES as its own separate entity with the QPS, with its own dedicated budget and also significantly boosting its budget, these changes will result in an even better resourced and more capable SES.

“This is all about enhancing Queensland’s capacity to respond to the natural disasters and severe weather events that we have all witnessed first hand in recent years, including the severe flooding which had such devastating impacts earlier this year.”