Changes ahead for Police and Community Safety members

Posted September 18, 2013 by Together Queensland

Last week, the government announced a dramatic shake-up of Queensland's policing, community safety and emergency services agencies.

Most members will already be familiar with some of the key recommendations of the long-awaited final report of the Police and Community Safety Review conducted by Mick Keelty. These include:

  • Transferring Queensland Ambulance Service to Queensland Health
  • Transferring Queensland Corrective Services to Department of Justice and Attorney-General
  • Re-configuring areas of Department of Community Safety into a new Department of Fire and Emergency Services
  • Creating a Portfolio Business entity, headed up by a chief executive, to provide corporate support functions to Queensland Police Service and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
  • Creation of a new Inspector General, Emergency Management to co-ordinate emergency and disaster responses
  • Moving to a single government air wing
  • Making a number of functions - notably prison management but also others such as speed camera operation and wide-load escorts currently performed by police - subject to 'contestability'; that is, privatisation.

There will obviously be significant ramifications for members from these changes. Already concerns have been raised about the likely impacts on jobs, employment conditions, workloads, work locations and the quality of service that will be delivered to the public if important functions are privatised.

Yesterday, union representatives met with Mr Kelvin Anderson, Director-General of Department of Community Safety, to begin discussions of these concerns and the government's plan for implementing the changes. Union representatives made it very clear that union members should be involved in both the forthcoming implementation and contestability processes and Mr Anderson agreed that there be further engagement with Together as these progressed.

The first priority for implementation, in accordance with the Keelty recommendations, will be the machinery of government changes to move Queensland Ambulance to Health, and Corrections to JAG. Included in the MOG transfer will be a proportionate number of staff from corporate support areas. The remaining areas then will be configured into the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, following which work will begin in earnest to establish the Portfolio Business agency.

A meeting with Queensland Police Service has also been requested. While QPS has only just gone through a significant organisational restructure, the review does have a lot to say about the 'business' side of QPS which, along with the greater emphasis on privatisation and the structural changes to support services, are likely to have a real impact on Together members.

We will continue to keep members updated as new information becomes available. If you have particular questions or concerns that you would like to see raised in discussions between the union and the employer, talk to your delegate or email or You should also ensure your contact details are up-to-date so that we can keep in touch with you over this period of change.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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