NSW RFS commissioner to lead new emergency management agency

By Shannon Jenkins

April 6, 2020

Chris Carr said Jenny West’s status in her job application was ‘well-advanced but not at the end of it’.  (Image: Adobe/ Keitma)

NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons will lead a new government agency tasked with managing the state’s response to crises, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday announced the creation of Resilience NSW, days after the state government established a new department dedicated to regional NSW.

Fitzsimmons said the new agency would “lead the whole-of-government prevention, preparedness and recovery effort”.

“It will oversee and coordinate emergency management policy, service delivery and all aspects of disaster recovery at a state, national and international level,” he said.

“There was never a more important time to make sure that communities devastated by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 are getting the help they need to rebuild and recover.”

While the state’s communities have already shown “extraordinary resilience in the face of many disasters” in recent months, they must be prepared for the future, according to Berejiklian.

“We know the next six months will be very difficult but we must already turn our mind to recovery,” she said.

“Through Resilience NSW we will re-double our efforts to prevent, prepare and recover from crisis which impact NSW.”

Fitzsimmons’ new role signals the end of decades of service in the RFS, including 12 years as the head. The premier said NSW was proud of his work during the recent bushfire crisis which ravaged the state, as well as his “outstanding service” to the RFS.

Read more: New department established for regional NSW

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