‘Nobody’s ever seen it’: Questions over missing SES report
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson says it's "outrageous" that a review of the State Emergency Service is yet to be publicly released after eight months, as the minister remains tight-lipped over when this will happen.
The Regional Queensland Council of Mayors Incorporated is calling on the State Government to urgently release the review report, saying time is a critical factor as the threat of cyclones and flooding looms.
In response to questions from the Daily Mercury about why the report had not been released, Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the government was still considering the document.
"As I said during estimates when asked about this matter, as a matter of principle, my view is that reports of this nature be released publicly at the appropriate time," Mr Ryan said.
During a press conference on Friday, Cr Williamson was asked why he thought the government was holding back this information, and whether he thought there was something in the report that it did not want to release.
"The new minister for state emergency services, Mark Ryan, is the minister that should be answering those questions," Cr Williamson responded.
"We don't know. We have never seen the report itself, nobody's ever seen it.
"That's outrageous when you think about the way that the SES is designed to deliver to all regional communities.
"We want to know why the report has been sitting on a State Government table since July last year. It needs to be released."
LNP spokesman for emergency services Dale Last said the situation was an "absolute disgrace" and called on Mr Ryan to "front up to the people of Queensland and explain why".
"Queenslanders know all too well the important role these volunteers play during times of disaster," Mr Last said.
"We have already heard in recent weeks from multiple SES units that personnel numbers are dwindling.
"This is not something that has happened over night and I would be extremely concerned if a report explaining why this is occurring and what needs to be done to reverse this is being tucked away in a drawer."