The NSW Government has declared a third State of Emergency ahead of worsening fire conditions predicted for Saturday.
A total fire ban is in place across the whole of the state tomorrow (Friday January 3).
The Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian requesting she declare a State of Emergency under Section 33 of the State of Emergency and Rescue Management Act. The declaration announced today will be in force for seven days from tomorrow.
“Declaring this State of Emergency is vital to the safety of communities in NSW as we face the most devastating bushfire season in living memory,” Ms Berejiklian said.
A State of Emergency declaration enables certain powers to be exercised by the RFS Commissioner. These include the power to:
- Direct any 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, water; and
- Enter or take possession of property in the course of the emergency response.
An initial State of Emergency was declared on November 11 and a second was declared on December 19 when NSW was faced with dangerous fire conditions.
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