Emergency Services Consultation Exposure Draft Bill

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) administers the following Acts on behalf of the Minister for Emergency Services:

  • Fire and Emergency Services Act of 1998 (Fire and Emergency Services Regulations 1998)
  • Fire Brigades Act 1942 (Fire Brigades Regulations 1943)
  • Bush Fires Act 1954 (Bush Fires Regulations 1954)
  • Emergency Services Levy Act 2002.
More about the Acts

DFES is coordinating a review of the Fire Brigades Act 1942, the Bush Fires Act 1954 and the Fire and Emergency Services Act of 1998.

The Western Australian Cabinet has approved the consolidation of these three Acts. As a result, the existing Acts will be repealed and replaced with one comprehensive consolidated piece of legislation. It is currently referred to as the Consolidated Emergency Services Act or the CES Act.

The CES Act will lay a strong and integrated foundation for effective emergency services management in the future. It will also improve community safety and provide better support for emergency services workers.

To determine the scope of the proposed CES Act, DFES conducted extensive consultation with state agencies, local government, volunteers and industry during a legislation review that resulted in over 5,000 comments submitted. These submissions assisted in developing drafting instructions, which Cabinet subsequently approved.

The drafting instructions have been provided to Parliamentary Counsel’s Office (PCO) to draft the Exposure Draft Bill. During this phase of the project, there is extensive communication between DFES and PCO.

Once the Exposure Draft Bill is released, an extensive public consultation period will be undertaken. Feedback from the consultation period will be considered and used to inform any necessary changes to the proposed legislation before submission to Parliament. Once submitted to Parliament, the Bill will be debated for Parliamentary approval (Royal assent) to publish the Act.

The development of new legislation is a lengthy and complex process guided by governmental and Parliamentary processes.

It may take several years to develop the new CES Act and the supporting regulations. This timeframe will allow for a thorough consultation process to be undertaken.

Emergency Services Act review

Review and Consultation


Exposure Draft Bill

In Progress

Public Consultation


Amended Draft Bill


Parliamentary Debate


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Emergency Management Act

Emergency situation declaration

The declaration of an emergency situation is made in response to exceptional circumstances that pose a threat to public safety. An emergency situation declaration facilitates a high-level coordinated response during extreme situations. It allows for the mobilisation of resources and the deployment of personnel and equipment to respond to the emergency.

Once an emergency situation has been declared, responders can take actions to protect lives and property. This may include evacuating people from the area, providing medical aid, or clearing debris. Declaring an emergency situation is a serious step, but it is often necessary in order to save lives and property during an emergency.

An emergency situation declaration may:

  • suspend certain normal functions of government;
  • alert the community to the situation and request they alter their behaviours; and/or
  • direct government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans.
Current declarations
When are emergency situation declarations released?

Information for employers of emergency services volunteers

Emergency services volunteer employers play a vital role in keeping Western Australians safe. Without their support, many incidents and emergencies would not receive the support and response required.

It is encouraged that employees are released during business hours to respond to an incident. However, employers have the final say on whether an employee may leave work, even during an emergency situation declaration.

An emergency situation declaration is prescribed under the Emergency Management Act 2005 and the Fair Work Act 2009. This means specific criteria must be followed by employers who release employee/s to help. This includes the legislative requirement to pay your employee/s their base salary or wage for the days they are deployed under a declaration.

If you release an employee, this should be done under a prior arrangement, so the employee knows the conditions under which they are leaving. This can be a combination of paid leave, unpaid leave and flexi-time.

Resources for employers

More Information

Our History

The history of emergency services in Western Australia can be traced back to the early years of the Swan River Colony.

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About us

The department performs a critical role in coordinating emergency services to respond to incidents.

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Rural Fire Division

The Rural Fire Division is a Command of DFES focussed on tackling bushfire risk in WA.

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Operational Fleet

DFES’ fleet comprises aerial pumpers, urban pumpers, incident control vehicles and more.

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Aviation Services

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services manage contracted aircraft and other aviation capabilities.

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