NSW's two fire agencies will share a call centre in a bid to do away with lingering territorial tensions, the state government has said, in accepting the recommendations of an independent review.
The review into the Bega Valley fires on March 18, in which 65 homes and 70 caravans were destroyed, has found an integrated call and dispatch centre must be created as the present arrangement between Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service is "flawed and in need of urgent reform".
Currently, the FRNSW takes calls and decides whether an incident is referred onto the RFS, depending upon an interpretation of the fire boundaries.
Eliminating those fire boundaries is another of 12 recommendations from the review, led by former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty.
His inquiry followed criticism of how emergency services handled the blazes, with reports at the time some residents did not receive emergency text messages and the RFS had turned down help from FRNSW.
Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the review's findings had made it clear those rejected requests did not impact on the number of homes lost, though the coroner will have the final say on the issue.
However Mr Grant said there was "obviously room for improvement" in how deployment was handled.
"There's always been some sort of territorial push by various agencies over the history of emergency services to take the lead, take control ... that has dissipated significantly over the years," he told reporters on Saturday.
"But this last issue about the actual deployment, through the call centres, is one that needs to be fixed."
The government has accepted all of the recommendations, which also include that RFS vehicles be fitted with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology "as a matter of priority".
The review found the RFS and FRNSW had different ideas of what resources were available to fight the Bega Valley flames, but "thankfully, the error was in favour of the community" as more FRNSW resources were available than was shown on the RFS's system.
The inquiry also found the "elephant in the room" was the sometimes palpable animosity between some sectors of the two agencies, noting a number of staff within FRNSW had been creating a dossier of complaints against the RFS.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley said it was Mr Grant's responsibility to ensure cooperation, rather than conflict, between the two agencies.
"Why has it taken the loss of 65 homes at Tathra before the minister gets interested in delivering better cooperation between the two agencies?" he told reporters on Saturday.