Breaking News:

Bills to shape new era of disaster and emergency services for Queensland

The office of the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, The Honourable Mark Ryan has advised the:

  • Legislation introduced on 28 November to strengthen disaster and emergency services in Queensland will create a new generation marine rescue service and boost our State Emergency Service.
  • Three Bills have been introduced to parliament:
    • the Emergency Services Reform Amendment Bill 2023
    • the Marine Rescue Queensland Bill 2023
    • the State Emergency Service Bill 2023.
  • These changes respond to a range of sweeping disaster and emergency services reforms to enhance Queensland’s capacity to respond to natural disasters and keep people safe in our oceans and waterways.
  • This legislation will recognise the importance of the new Marine Rescue Queensland and the State Emergency Service (SES).
  • Both entities will be hosted by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) under the proposed emergency services amendments.

Legislative changes will unite Queensland’s dedicated frontline responders across police, emergency services and marine rescue to forge a new generation of disaster management and emergency services response in Queensland.

Emergency Services Reform Amendment Bill 2023

The Amendment Bill will support coordination between Marine Rescue Queensland, SES and the QPS, boosting and enhancing the State’s response capability.

The QPS, SES and marine rescue volunteers have a long-standing and effective working relationship, and these amendments ensure the extraordinary efforts of our volunteers continue to be strengthened by an overarching support structure.

Marine Rescue Queensland Bill 2023

The Marine Rescue Queensland Bill will establish Marine Rescue Queensland, an entity aimed to strengthen the coordination of volunteers contributing to marine rescue services and keep Queenslanders safe in our waterways and oceans.

With a new identity and dedicated budget to support our communities while on the water, Marine Rescue Queensland will be recognised as Queensland’s integrated marine service.

Marine rescue volunteers play a critical role in keeping the community safe on the water by providing general marine support and assisting with search and rescue operations.

Volunteers from the Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association are able to join Marine Rescue Queensland once it is established in 2024.

State Emergency Service Bill 2023

The SES will be hosted by the QPS, gaining its own operational budget, allowing for a strategic approach to critical disaster and emergency responses.

The SES will benefit from more staff and more resources, including crucial safety equipment, vehicles and vessels.

Communities will benefit from their emergency services gaining enhanced resources and capability to respond effectively to community emergencies.

Mark Ryan MP

“Queensland experiences more natural disasters than any other state in the country and it is crucial that we continue to be well prepared,’’ Mr Ryan said.

“These Bills will help our emergency services to modernise our service delivery arrangements, allocate resources where it’s needed most, and simplify our operational structures.

“They will strengthen the State’s ability to support local councils and communities effectively in the management of disasters in Queensland.

“Marine rescue volunteers play a critical role in keeping the community safe on the water and I am excited to have them join Marine Rescue Queensland.

“A key strength of these reforms will continue to be the relationships with the community, local governments and those that volunteer to help and support.

“Everyone in the community sees the extraordinary efforts of our dedicated SES and marine volunteers to support the safety of our community and we are committed to enhancing their capabilities through these reforms.”


The reform outcomes will come into effect by 1 July 2024.

Disaster Management and Emergency Services reforms will provide:

• A total funding package of up to $578 million over 5 years from 2023-2024 and $142 million per annum ongoing.
• A substantial increase to the SES annual baseline budget to approximately
• $60 million for more staff and more resources, including crucial safety equipment, vehicles and vessels.
• Establishment of MRQ with an annual baseline budget of approximately $27 million for frontline support, resources, vessels and equipment.

Further legislation amendments supporting the creation of the new Queensland Fire Department with the Rural Fire Service established as its own entity within the new department in 2024.

Queensland’s emergency services and disaster management reforms stem from a series of independent reviews including the ‘Independent review of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ and the ‘Review of Queensland’s Disaster Management Arrangements (QDMA)’.