Volunteer firefighters have accused Emergency Services Minister David Elliott of misleading Parliament over claims he had threatened to sue them if they revealed he had likened them to Dad’s Army.
In an exchange recorded in Parliament’s Hansard for March 16, Opposition Leader Luke Foley asked: “Did you ask Parliamentary Secretary Rick Colless to inform the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association that you would initiate legal proceedings against them unless a planned media story critical of you was pulled?”
High intensity fires can cause enormous damage to water catchments by destroying ground-cover and changing hydrology, as well as altering the structure, behaviour and erosion of soil. Furthermore, the chemical reactions triggered by fire can release nutrients, metals and other toxicants stored in vegetation and soil. Post-fire rainfall has significant impacts on water quality as it often washes these contaminants into waterways and reservoirs. When this occurs, water may be unsafe for agriculture or human consumption without additional treatment or alternative sources of water. Poor water quality and loss of amenity can therefore have substantial financial implications.
Volunteer firefighters have complained after they said they were compared to the bumbling characters portrayed in the TV series Dad’s Army by Emergency Services Minister David Elliott.
The claims emerged at a General Meeting of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association held last Saturday in Murrumbateman, Southern Tablelands, and attended by more than 70 members representing volunteers across Australia.
Members told the meeting they were insulted by the allegations and have called on the minister to apologise or explain his comments.
Aboriginal custodians say a massive 2,000 square kilometres of eucalyptus viminalis, known as Manna Gum or Ribbon Gum, that has died on the Monaro Plains in New South Wales is the result of a lack of traditional burning practices.
Most firefighters will recognise the image (above), it is used in text books and in classrooms to teach the very basics of firefighting, you need all three sides of there fire triangle for fire to occur. We cannot control the heat of any given day, we cannot control how much oxygen is in the air but we can control many types of fuel loads.
Given that the fire triangle is such a simple and basic concept then why is the “F” word (Fuel) omitted from many news articles, papers and other references to the worsening bushfire threats to our communities. See the news examples in this post…
This newspaper article raises a number of complex issues including:
1. Do we have sufficient number of rangers for day to day operations and proper land management of our national parks?
2. If park rangers deserve an increased rate of pay, should it be built into their base pay rate? They should not have to rely on firefighting operations to supplement their income.
3. Is it appropriate to pay firefighters an excessive rate of pay over and above their normal rate during firefighting operations?
4. Remembering that volunteer firefighters (particularly those who are self employed) can often find themselves fighting fires at personal cost. Is it appropriate to pay other firefighters who are working alongside them an excessive rate of pay?
These issues could be mitigated if proper land management practices and increased burning regimes were adopted.
Spend more money on mitigation and less on mayhem…