The State Rescue Board (SRB) of NSW
In March 1989, the New South Wales Government approved a major restructuring of the Rescue Services and Emergency Management arrangements in this State. This restructure put in place the recommendations of a study undertaken by Major General R A Grey (Report on the "Review of Rescue Policy in New South Wales").
In December 1989 legislation was enacted to restructure the existing arrangements. The State Emergency and Rescue Management Act was subsequently proclaimed to commence on 12 February 1990.
The State Emergency and Rescue Management Act provides for the establishment of the State Rescue Board of New South Wales with a structure and system for management of rescue at State, Regional and Local levels. The Board is responsible to the Minister for Emergency Services.
Principal function of the Board
The principal function of the Board is to ensure the maintenance of efficient and effective rescue services throughout the State.
State Rescue Board of New South Wales
Section 42 of the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act provides for a corporation with the corporate name of the State Rescue Board of New South Wales (Board). The Board is, for the purposes of any Act, a statutory body representing the Crown.
State Rescue Board Membership
Section 43 (1) of the Act provides that the Board is to consist of not less than eight members, being:
- the State Emergency Operations Controller
- the Commissioner of the State Emergency Service
- a member of the NSW Police Force Senior Executive Service nominated by the Commissioner of Police
- the Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW
- the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service
- the State Superintendent of the Ambulance Service of New South Wales
- the President of the Volunteer Rescue Association of New South Wales
- the Chairperson of Volunteer Marine Rescue of New South Wales
- the heads of any other volunteer rescue agencies approved at the time by the Minister.
Section 43 (2) of the Act provides that one of the members of the Board is to be appointed as Chairperson by the Minister.
Section 45 of the Act provides that the Board is, in the exercise of its functions, subject to the control and direction of the Minister.
Particular duties of the Board
The State Rescue Board is required to:
- develop policies to promote the provision of comprehensive, balanced and coordinated rescue services throughout the State
- make recommendations to the Minister on policy matters relating to the provision of rescue services within the State
- review planning for single incident rescues within the State
- review and disseminate to relevant agencies technical information relating to rescue operations
- ensure proper liaison and coordination with Federal and other State organisations in connection with rescue services
- provide advice and recommendations on the compatibility of rescue equipment, including communications equipment
- make recommendations to the Minister on the accreditation of rescue units (both permanent and volunteer) for participation in rescue operations
- make recommendations to the Minister on levels of Government support (including financial assistance under section 60) to volunteer organisations providing rescue services
- assist in the conduct of training exercises in rescue operations involving the various agencies concerned
- monitor the training standards of the permanent and volunteer services in rescue
- review proposals for amendment of legislation relating to rescue
and make recommendations to the Minister
- make reports or recommendations to the Minister on any matter referred to the Board by the Minister.