The Emergencies Act 2004
The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) operates under the Emergencies Act 2004.
The Emergencies Act 2004 (the Act) was developed in response to the Report of the McLeod Inquiry into the Operational Response to the January 2003 Bushfires in the ACT (the McLeod Report).
The Act also consolidated all previous emergency legislation in the ACT, provides for different declarations in an emergency or impending emergency, and substantially rewrites the provisions of the Bushfire Act 1936, including providing for the ACT Bushfire Council as an advisory body to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.
Prior to July 2004
Prior to July ’04 the former ACT Emergency Services Bureau operated under the Emergency Management Act, 1999 with responsibility for ensuring community compliance with regulations and standards aimed at protection from hazards.
The Bureau was directly responsible for:
Bushfire Act 1936, amendments and regulations. Provided for the control of bushfire and other related purposes predominantly for areas outside the built-up area;
Fire Brigade Act 1957, amendments and regulations. Detailed the powers, duties and functions of members of the Fire Brigade and other persons and for precautions to be taken at, and to prevent fires and hazardous conditions; and
Fire Brigade (Administration) Act 1974, amendments and regulations. This Act established the ACT Fire Brigade and detailed the provisions for such things as the establishment of ranks, appointments, promotions, retirements, discipline and appeals.
Motor Traffic Act. Although this is not legislation directed at the various emergency services, it does provide for a number of exemptions for vehicles responding to fires and other emergencies.
There are a number of other Acts that affect the day-to-day operations of the ESA. These include Acts relating to such things as Industrial Relations, Superannuation, Workers Compensation, Rehabilitation, Occupational Health and Safety, Merit and Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Human Rights, etc.