The bushfires of the 2019/2020 summer season have demonstrated the reluctance of the State Governments to request the Commonwealth assistance in catastrophic emergency events, and it is unwise for the Commonwealth to sit on its hands and wait for an invitation to assist in whatever way it can. Lives are lost and assets are damaged when resources are delayed in their deployment to emergency events. An early intervention was clearly the expectation of the public and so we believe a pathway for this to occur must be developed.
· The Commmonwealth Government has the responsibility of the safety and security of all Australian citizens and must do all that can be done to ensure the best outcomes for everyone’s safety.
· Significant emergency events in any part of Australia must be assessed by the Commonwealth Emergency Services Department and if it is deemed that the State resources would be unable to bring an early resolution to the emergency then offers of assistance are to be delivered to the State authorities.
· The Prime Minister will head the emergency response to assist the states, with the Emergency Services Minister directing his personnel.
· A joint coordination group will be put in place for the smooth delivery of the necessary services.
· All Commonwealth agencies as necessary will be involved including the Federal Police and the Defence Forces.
· If necessary, Constitutional Amendments may be considered to be drafted to facilitate this proces