Resilience NSW to be wound down, Fitzsimmons stood down

By Anna Macdonald

August 5, 2022

Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons
Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is to be stood down. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

The NSW government is expected to wind down its agency Resilience NSW and its commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons stood down following recommendations of the report from the 2022 NSW flood inquiry.

The inquiry — led by chair of the Independent Planning Commission of New South Wales Mary O’Kane and former commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force Michael Fuller — was set up to examine several issues surrounding flood responses, including the preparedness and planning by NSW agencies. 

Resilience NSW itself was established in April 2020 by then-premier Gladys Berejiklian to oversee the state’s emergency response and management.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the agency will replaced with a smaller office. 

Its commissioner Fitzsimmons was previously commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), and took a prominent role during the bushfire season of 2019/2020. Speaking about that bushfire season a couple of months ago, Fitzsimmons called the season “unprecedented”, as previously reported in The Mandarin

Former transport minister Andrew Constance has voiced his support for Fitzsmmons in a video online. 

“This is a bloke who saved lives, who was there for my community and our state during the Black Summer. I think he deserves a little bit better than this,” Constance said. 

However, others are in support of the dismantling of the agency. 

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (FBEU) welcomed the news, saying it hoped the closure of the agency would mean the government was taking the role of firefighters “seriously” and hoped the changes would leade to more resources for firefighters.

“At a time when the NSW Government is more focused on closing fire stations, our expectation is that the closure of Resilience NSW signifies a change in the Government’s attitude towards our state’s most relied-upon workers and the communities they serve,” the union said on its Facebook page. 

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said the agency was diverting resources away from the SES. 

“In an emergency, you’ve got a limited amount of time to make critical calls and you can’t afford to have a situation where a public servant has to battle many levels of bureaucracy in order to save people’s lives or save property,” the ABC quoted Minns as saying

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