Emergency services review recommends massive overhauls

  |  State political reporter

The largest “forensic review” of the states emergency services agencies has recommended a complete overhaul of the department of community safety and emergency services.

Jointly releasing the $590,000 Keelty Review, headed up by the former Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty, Premier Campbell Newman and Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the revamp was not about downsizing or saving money, but about creating “the best possible” service.

As such, responsibility for the Queensland Ambulance Service is being moved to Queensland Health, while Corrective Services, which is in charge of the state’s prisons, will be transferred to the Attorney-General’s department.

Mick Keelty, former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.Mick Keelty, former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The remaining agencies will form a renamed Fire and Emergency Services department.

A new position, Inspector General Emergency Management, will be created to coordinate emergency and disaster responses.

The review recommends wide sweeping changes to all the agencies which currently sit under the Department of Community Safety.

But the government said that doesn’t equate to job losses.

Mr Newman said while the intention was to move positions and people over to the new department, he could not guarantee that every individual job would remain.

“There are always people coming and going, so I’m not going to make a guarantee that there won’t be person who is working today, that isn’t in three or four months time, I can’t make that guarantee,” he said.

“But this government has been really upfront about job losses, we went in there last year, we made tough decisions, the police service and all other departments had to do a range of things in terms of shedding people, but that was done last year.

“The objective here is to actually change the structure, sort out roles, get cooperation, it is not about shedding jobs at all, I can assure people of that, that is not the objective.”

Mr Keelty and his team concluded that the “police and community safety agencies are not broken” as had previously been suggested, but did find “significant flaws making the current arrangements unsustainable despite the goodwill and hard fought efforts of frontline staff.”

The 129 recommendations Mr Keelty makes in his review aims to change that.

Read more: regarding the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Corrections.
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