What A ‘State Of Emergency’ Means For NSW Moving Forward
The RFS takes over.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared a State Of Emergency for NSW over the next seven days amidst “unpredictable” weather conditions causing extreme fire danger across majority of the state.
So what exactly does a State of Emergency mean?
According to the NSW Government website, a State of Emergency declaration allows powers to be transferred from the NSW Government to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.
These powers include the ability to:
- direct any government agency to conduct or refrain from conducting its functions
- control and coordinate the allocation of government resources
- evacuate people from property within the declared area
- close roads and thoroughfares to traffic
- pull down or shore up infrastructure at risk of collapse
- order the shutdown of essential utilities in the declared area including electricity, gas, oil and water
- enter or take possession of property in the course of the emergency response.
“We don’t take these declarations lightly," the Premier stated.
"We only take them when the conditions are so severe that we want everybody to be alert. We want to ensure Commissioner Fitzsimmons has all the authority legally and all the powers that he has to ensure that he can take any decision to protect life and property, and I just want to thank everybody for their understanding of their patience.
“I appreciate that for many families this could be a disruptive period, but we ask everybody to ... be sensible, to be cautious and also to expect, when they are on the roads, they should expect delays.
“They should expect perhaps to reach their destination later than expected, but also perhaps have to change their plans depending on what happens over the next few days.”
She went on to warn those looking to travel over the holiday break to be aware.
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