We cannot respond to anonymous requests

We cannot respond to anonymous requests

It is very important that we inform our readers that information provided by anonymous persons is noted and followed up where possible, but the level of support and assistance could be limited if we are unable to correspond with people who remain anonymous to the VFFA.

The privacy of our members, volunteers and whistle-blowers will always be treated as the highest priority when dealing with information provided.

Fire management clusters on Cape York

Fire management clusters on Cape York

Fire is undoubtedly one of the most important factors influencing the health of the country, economic viability, and the cultural values of Cape York.

Indigenous people have supported biodiversity with knowledge-based fires for thousands of years, but wild fires can be very damaging.

Wild fires mean that ecosystems are injured and may be significantly changed, graziers lose pasture and stock, and erosion and sediment run-off can badly affect even the Great Barrier Reef. People managing their property as part of a fire carbon farming project also suffer significant economic loss.

Recently there has been a resurgence in traditional burning practices on Cape York.

This, along with the management of fire savvy graziers, Rangers, and other land managers, has seen big improvements in ecologically sound fire management, typically patchy in nature.

National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services

National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services

beyondblue is undertaking the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services to build a comprehensive picture of the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel in Australia.

There is nothing more important than the mental health and wellbeing of the people who serve and protect our communities every day. This is a landmark piece of research beyondblue is undertaking, and I am delighted that almost every police and emergency services agency in Australia is participating. The information we generate will enable us to improve and strengthen our approach to protecting those who protect us, to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Ken Lay AO APM, Chair of the Advisory Group of the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services

Update – Inquiry into emergency services agencies

Mick Holton, Brian Williams and Neil Crawley represented the VFFA on Monday, 18 September 2017 before the Portfolio Committee No. 4 – Legal Affairs Inquiry into Emergency Services Agencies.

A transcript of the proceeding is available as an uncorrected proof for anyone who may be interested in following the progress of this inquiry.

Putting the RURAL back into the RFS – Petition

Putting the RURAL back into the RFS – Petition

The objective of this campaign is to decentralise the operations, logistic and training sections of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) Head Office to country New South Wales, west of the Blue Mountains.

The existing plans to build a new RFS Head Office in Greater Sydney could easily be modified to create a State Emergency Operations Centre that is badged as such (with a State Government Logo) and used by all emergency service agencies.

Rural Fire Service faces accusations of bullying and nepotism

Rural Fire Service faces accusations of bullying and nepotism

With the state already facing “extreme” bushfire risks with hot and dry weather, a parliamentary inquiry has heard of allegations of bullying and nepotism within the Rural Fire Service. The hearing was told by vice-president of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association that the community could no longer be protected.

At the public Emergency Services Agency hearing, chaired by Shooters and Fishers’ Robert Borsak, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons was quizzed by Greens member David Shoebridge after it was revealed 48 per cent of RFS members had witnessed bullying while 18 per cent had been victims of bullying and that “only two people have been dismissed because of it”.

Inquiry hears of bullying, nepotism in RFS

Inquiry hears of bullying, nepotism in RFS

THE Rural Fire Service (RFS) has lost touch with its regional roots, and volunteers who have spoken against the bureaucracy have faced bullying and harassment, including election interference at a brigade level, a parliamentary inquiry into the emergency services has been told.

Workplace Relations Amendment (Protection for Emergency Management Volunteers) Bill 2003

A number of politicians on both sides have expressed their concerns about the possibility that New South Wales Rural Fire Service volunteers and Victorian Country Fire Authority volunteers could be dismissed because of their work to protect communities in trouble.

This post shares two resources to assist volunteers and their employers.

Scientists tracing ancient Aboriginal fire practices on remote Tasmanian island unearth fresh timelines

Scientists tracing ancient Aboriginal fire practices on remote Tasmanian island unearth fresh timelines

A core sample taken from a remote Tasmanian island suggests Aboriginal people were using fire management on the island at least 41,000 years ago, experts have said.

The findings by a joint project involving the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) and scientists could provide insight into how people adapted to changing climates.

The TAC invited fire ecologist David Bowman and Australian National University natural history professor Simon Haberle to lungtalanana/Clark Island in Bass Strait to conduct research after it was ravaged by fire in 2014.

They took a core sample from a lake on the island which contained charcoal and pollen.

From that they were able to reconstruct the island’s fire history by determining how often vegetation had burnt over thousands of years.