Third District Representative Julian Fraser has cautioned Premier Andrew Fahie against moving the Disaster Management portfolio from the Office of the Governor to the Office of the Premier.
During the January 5 sitting of the House of Assembly, elected leaders debated the Disaster Management Bill, which proposes to shift the power of control from the governor to the territory’s Premier and his government during times of disaster.
While admitting that he fully supports moving disaster management to local elected leaders, Fraser said Premier Fahie presently has too many responsibilities and runs the risk of overwhelming himself if he were to take control of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).
“Even though it might be the most appropriate place under normal circumstances for it (the disaster management portfolio) to be, at this particular time, I don’t think that’s the best place for it to go. Don’t ask me where it should go. My reason for saying that is because I think the Premier is stretching himself thin. You can’t take on so much. But the decision is his,” Fraser advised.
He also cautioned that elected leaders should refrain from politicising the Department of Disaster Management.
“It must maintain that neutrality across political parties and entities,” the senior legislator said.
Premier Fahie has not explicitly stated which ministry will parent the Department of Disaster Management.
The Premier is currently the Finance Minister, Tourism Minister and overseas more than 10 critical areas which fall under The Office of the Premier. These areas include:
Cross-Ministerial Coordination and Policy Leadership
Physical and National Development Planning
Cross-Border Movement Management and National Security
Trade Facilitation, Market and Business Development and Investment Promotion
International Ship Registration
Tourism Product Development and Promotion
Information Management/Public Awareness
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