Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:45): My question is to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services. What action is the minister taking to finalise disciplinary matters relating to CFS staff and volunteers? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.

Leave granted.

Mr PEDERICK: The opposition has been advised of circumstances where paid staff and volunteers have been subject to suspensions from the CFS without having received the specific details of the alleged wrongdoing.

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN (Kavel—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Special Minister of State) (14:45): I appreciate the question from the member for Hammond. The member will be aware that there is consideration being given to the drafting of new regulations and policies to inform those regulations. These regulations control the disciplinary process. I am very hopeful that approval will at some point reasonably soon be given to ensure that there can be adequate and widespread consultation in relation to new regulations. It will better inform the disciplinary process that CFS and SES volunteers are subject to, keeping well in mind that certain disciplinary processes in relation to the Metropolitan Fire Service are otherwise controlled by provisions in the act.

The house might well know that there are approximately 21 disciplinary matters relating to the CFS. I am informed that all but six of these relate to criminal matters. I am informed, too, that in relation to the State Emergency Service there is one disciplinary matter that also is informed by criminal proceedings. It is certainly a matter on which I have taken detailed advice. It is a matter about which I care deeply.

As the member for Hammond will appreciate, there are many, many CFS volunteers in the regional community of Mount Barker, throughout the Adelaide Hills, throughout the Fleurieu and, of course, right across South Australia. With respect to the CFS, as is well known in this place, there are about 13,500—just slightly less—volunteers. In terms of the SES, there are 1,700. We care very deeply about the welfare of all of these volunteers.

I also should acknowledge that the member for Hammond is a volunteer himself, joined by other volunteers in the house. Most notably, I think it would be right on this occasion to acknowledge the member for Waite, who of course most recently brought before the house a motion to recognise International Firefighters' Day. When the—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: No, this isn't a laughing matter. This is not a laughing matter.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: This is not a spectacle. This relates to the welfare of individual volunteers. It is not a matter that should be the subject of humour from you, from you or anyone further from your 14 members—14 of you. That is outrageous! It is not a spectacle. The welfare of these individual volunteers is something about which I care very deeply, but I am concerned very much by that response. Can I say and emphasise to the house, that is very poor judgement from you—very poor judgement indeed.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: Point of order: standing order 98. I think it would be better if the minister got back to the subject.

The SPEAKER: I think the standing orders don't allow for interjections, so if members on my left don't interject then it's not possible for the minister to respond. I think it's been a nice, calm, quiet week, and I thank all members for that. I put that down as a one-all draw, and as an umpire who likes to see play on and the whistle kept in the umpire's pocket I was willing to let that one run. The member for Hammond.

Mr PEDERICK: My question—

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: Sorry, there's a minute left in my answer.

Mr Pederick: You sat down.

The SPEAKER: He sat down because of the point of order, member for Hammond. Now you will sit down and the minister will resume his answer.

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection and also the call that's important for me to illustrate that there are certain disciplinary matters that fall within the standing orders. No doubt, you will be familiar with those, of course.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: Two in due course. Can I emphasise an additional three matters to the house? I really want to emphasise these points. The first is this: requests were made of previous ministers in the former government, as is the evidence before a committee in another place, that action should be taken in respect of these regulations. Was any action taken? No. It was not adequate to meet the needs of those volunteers, and that is why we find ourselves in this place. To my second point, there will be consultation in relation to proposed regulations. Of course, the policy will inform those regulations, and third—

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. D.R. CREGAN: Third point—we definitely can count. I can count 14 of you.

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