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AFAC Annual Reports : 2010 Annual Report
2 | Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council Annual Report 2010 Lee A Johnson AFSM MIFireE, Commissioner Queensland Fire and Rescue Service AFAC President From the President This past year has been a challenging time for agencies across Australia, with the Victorian fires of February 2009 and their aftermath continuing to impact on many AFAC members. The Interim Report of the Victorian Bushﬁres Royal Commission was handed down on 17 August and while there were a range of recommendations concerning the operation of the Victorian agencies, there were some key recommendations that have implications for all ﬁre and emergency agencies around Australia. Signiﬁcant changes were recommended in relation to advice given to the community about leaving early and the dangers of staying to defend a property during a bushﬁre, changes to the ﬁre danger ratings system and community warnings. In response to this, AFAC brokered the work on the National Fire Danger Ratings System and community warnings which led to the adoption of common terms, trigger points and common messages for information and warnings to the community. Victoria played a prominent role in this work with the Victorian Premier John Brumby ofﬁcially opening the workshop. A new national phrase, “Prepare. Act. Survive.” was adopted by AFAC members, and it was the ﬁrst time that a consistent message had been agreed by all ﬁre agencies across Australia. The inaugural Executive Command Forum was conducted in Canberra in September, and this was held in recognition of the beneﬁts of bringing together the most senior operational people from across AFAC member agencies to discuss and collaborate on issues of national importance. AFAC adopted a national position on climate change – Climate Change and the Fire and Emergency Services Sector. The position recognises that climate change will affect the emergency services signiﬁcantly due to an increased scale, intensity and frequency of natural emergency events. AFAC and its member agencies will need to manage their exposures and undertake a thorough review of physical and human resources to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The three year extension of the Bushﬁre CRC is underway and this new research program will add to the body of knowledge created from the ﬁrst seven years of the CRC, and assist us as we move our industry towards evidence based decision making. AFAC and its members also have a role in regional development and capacity building and AFAC sponsored the development of a three year business case proposal to support and strengthen emergency preparedness and response within Paciﬁc Island countries. The proposal has been submitted to AusAID for funding consideration. AFAC also supported the conduct of the inaugural PIFSA Fire and Emergency Services Executive Forum held in Papua New Guinea in June. Queensland was delighted to host the annual AFAC/Bushﬁre CRC Conference held on the Gold Coast in September 2009. Once again the conference was a highlight of the year for AFAC and brought together staff and volunteers from member agencies across Australia to gain new knowledge and understanding and participate in networking opportunities. Secretary of the Federal Attorney General’s Department, Roger Wilkins AO, provided the Opening Keynote address and challenged delegates towards a paradigm shift in thinking, encouraging them to move towards building community resilience rather than just responding to emergencies as they happen. I would like to thank and acknowledge AFAC’s sponsors, Scania, Dräger and Isuzu, for their support of our industry. We would not be able to achieve all that we do without their valuable ﬁnancial assistance. I would also like to acknowledge the support I have received from the Committee of Management and Council members during my ﬁrst year as AFAC President. Thank you to AFAC Group members for the wonderful work that is achieved through the Groups. Our strength as an industry is through our ability to come together to share, collaborate and innovate, and it is the Group structure and commitment of Group members that allows this to occur. I would also like to particularly thank and recognise CEO Naomi Brown for her hard work on behalf of AFAC member agencies and for the support she has given to me. Her drive, vision and commitment to AFAC is outstanding.
2011 Annual Report