Unrest simmering over emergency revamp

June 9, 2023 6:45 pm in by


Controversy continues around Tasmania’s emergency services restructure, with further questioning in a parliamentary hearing on Thursday.

One of the key sticking points for unions is the Tasmania Fire Service being placed under the direction of the Police Commissioner.

It prompted the abrupt resignation of emergency services veteran and Chief Fire Officer Dermot Barry on Friday. 

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Minister Felix Ellis received a barrage from MPs Rosalie Woodruff and David O’Byrne at Budget Estimates. 

“Mr Barry had a vast amount of experience and respect among his colleagues, and his resignation is a great loss to the state,” said the former Labor Franklin MP. 

“There are now deep concerns that the independence of the state’s fire service has been compromised, and that any advice prepared for Minister Ellis that does not agree with his views could become problematic.”

The United Firefighters Union met earlier in the week to discuss its response, not ruling out industrial action. 

“These reforms are based on 5 years of independent reviews, and the Reports from Mr Mike Blake and Mr Michael Stevens,” said Mr Ellis. 

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“The Government will continue to implement these reforms that were announced on 24 January 2023.”



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