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18-29 New structure for NSW State Emergency Service

Date: Thursday 27th September 2018
Category: Council Circular

Circular Details

Circular No 18-29 / 27 September 2018 / A621142

Previous Circular


Who should read this

Councillors / General Managers / All council staff


Ms Clarinda Sheeley / SES / (02) 4251 6229 /

Action required


PDF version of Circular 


What’s new or changing

  • A new structure for the NSW SES will commence on 2 October 2018.

  • A key part of the new structure is the adoption of a new Incident Management Operating Model (IMOM). The IMOM is the structure supporting the operational command and control arrangements of the NSW SES.

  • Under the IMOM, service delivery will be restructured from 17 regions to 5 zones with a ‘zone headquarters’ in each zone as well as staff located at other facilities across the state.

  • The NSW SES will not be closing any of its facilities in regional areas and it will not be closing any Units.

  • The Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 is currently before Parliament. The Bill will amend the State Emergency Service Act 1989 (NSW) to reflect changes to position and region designations arising from changes to

    the structure.


What this will mean for your council

  • From 2 October 2018, the 5 zones will be Metro, Northern, South East, Southern and Western. A map with zone boundaries is attached.

  • Zone Commanders will be appointed to each zone. References to Region Controllers in the Act will be changed to Zone Commanders. Region Controllers do not exist in the new structure.

  • The terms Local Controller will be replaced with Local Commander and the term Unit Controller will be replaced with Unit Commander.

  • In the new structure, Local Commanders are determined by clusters and not by Local Government Areas (LGAs). The Local Commander’s role is to support the Units within their cluster and facilitate collaboration within the cluster with external stakeholders.

  • It is anticipated Local Commanders will be assigned progressively from October 2018.

  • Unit Commanders will continue to do what they did as Unit Controllers. Unit Commanders in each LGA will continue to work with local stakeholders and play an active role in delivering the best possible service to the community.


Key points

  • The changes to the NSW SES structure take effect from 2 October 2018.

  • The new structure will see service delivery transition from a Regional to Zone-based structures. No Units will be closed as a result of the changes to the structure.

  • Councils will be advised of Local Commander appointments that are relevant to their LGA.


Where to go for further information


Tim Hurst
Chief Executive

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