The Emergency Services Legislation Amendement Act 2012 (Vic) has received Royal Assent and will, we can expect, commence in due course.
The Act contains many amendments that cannot be explored in detail here. An abstract of the effect of this Act says:
This Act amends (a)(i) the Country Fire Authority Act 1958; and (ii) the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958 – to reflect current organisational arrangements and clarify the command structures applying at fires, to increase penalties and create new offences to mitigate risks that undermine effective emergency response and community safety and to modernise outdated provisions; (b) the Victoria State Emergency Service Act 2005 to align compensation provisions with the Accident Compensation Act 1985, to clarify that the Victoria State Emergency Service is able to engage in fundraising and promotional activities and to provide a regulation making power regarding the administration and management of units; (c) the Country Fire Authority Act 1958, the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958 and the Victoria State Emergency Service Act 2005 to (i) insert a definition of major emergency; and (ii) incorporate a general emergency responsibility to assist in the response to large scale emergencies; (d) the Emergency Management Act 1986 to enhance police powers relating to the declaration of emergency areas and the operation of roadblocks and to realign the offence relating to the making of false claims for compensation; (e) the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority Act 2004 to allow the Emergency Services Commissioner to determine generic as well as agency specific standards for the service performance of the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority and to remove redundant references to certain ambulance services; (f) the Forests Act 1958 to insert an immunity provision applying to authorised officers and other persons in relation to things done or omitted to be done in the exercise of powers or the discharge of duties relating to fire management activities; (g) the Summary Offences Act 1966 as result of changes made to the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 and the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958.
Once the Act is proclaimed to commence it will be found on public databases such as Austlii and it’s provisions will be incorporated into the various Acts that are affected by the amendments. In the meantime you can find the Bill and explanatory notes on the website of the Victorian Parliament.
7 March 2012