State of Emergency declared for NSW after fires
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called a second state of emergency in a month meaning NSW is going to be very different for the next week.
On the advice of RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, the NSW premier issued the emergency declaration this morning. This one will last for a week.
"The decision to declare a state of emergency is not taken lightly," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
"It normally only goes for seven days and you have to make sure that conditions are serious enough for that declaration to be made.
"You can't afford for people to be complacent.
"You only declare states of emergency when it's absolutely necessary and on expert advice from commissioners.
"The last one was declared back on November 11 when, as you remember, we had catastrophic weather conditions.
"We're not expecting Saturday to get to catastrophic levels at this stage, but severe enough to warrant this declaration."
The emergency declaration falls under Section 33 of the State of Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 and was made earlier today in anticipation of intense heat and extreme fire danger conditions across NSW.
It allows powers to be transferred from the NSW government to the Rural Fire Service commissioner.
THE POWERS INCLUDE
- Direct any NSW government agency to conduct or refrain from conducting its functions
- Control and coordinate the allocation of government resources
- Evacuate people from property within the declared area
- Close roads and thoroughfares to traffic
- Pull down or shore up infrastructure at risk of collapse
- Order the shutdown of essential utilities in the declared area, including electricity, gas, oil and water
- Enter or take possession of property in the course of the emergency response.