The Legislative Council, Portfolio Committee No. 4 – Legal Affairs will inquire into and report on emergency services agencies, and in particular:
a) The prevalence of bullying, harassment and discrimination, as well as the effectiveness of the protocols and procedures in place to manage and resolve such complaints within emergency services agencies, including: New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue New South Wales, New South Wales Police Force, Ambulance Service of New South Wales, and New South Wales State Emergency Service.
b) The support structures in place to assist victims of workplace bullying, harassment and/ or discrimination within emergency services agencies.
c) The support services available to emergency services workers and volunteers to assist with mental health issues resulting from workplace trauma and the effectiveness of those programs.
d) The appropriateness of uniforms provided to personnel in emergency services agencies.
e) The relocation of the New South Wales Rural Fire Services Headquarters to Orange, Dubbo or Parkes.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato has declared that the prospect of relocating the NSW Rural Fire Service Headquarters to a rural community is back on the agenda.
He said that the message is loud and clear that the Central West wants to see the Rural Fire Service based in a rural community such as Orange, Parkes or Dubbo.
His Upper House Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party colleague Robert Borsak launched an inquiry into emergency services agencies last week. Part of its focus will be on where the Rural Fire Service should be based.
Did you know that the bullying and harassment issue has been around for a long time in the NSW RFS and it is not limited to RFS Volunteers?
Where does this bullying and harassment come from and where will it end?
It looks very suspicious when we see the NSW State Government failing to respond to the views of regional and rural communities. One example is the decentralisation of the RFS Head Office.
Are they being influenced by the NSW RFS?
Are they being bullied in some way?
The St Ivan fire razed an estimated 55,000 hectares of farming-land east of Dunedoo, destroying vital agricultural infrastructure like sheds, machinery, homes, over 5,500 kilometres of fencing and more than 5,000 head of sheep and cattle.
When the question “How do we stop volunteer emergency service workers quitting?” is asked, many volunteers will respond with “listen more and dictate less”
The NSW RFS Annual Report for 2014 / 2015 stated that there was a total of 74,516 volunteers.
The NSW RFS Annual Report for 2015 / 2016 (one year later) stated that there was a total of 73,162 volunteers.
This is a reduction of 1354 volunteers.
Although this decline was recorded in the NSW RFS Annual Reports, the VFFA believes that the total number of actively engaged NSW RFS Volunteers is grossly overstated.
Volunteer firefighters in many rural areas of NSW are distancing themselves from the bureaucracy and many farmers are choosing to “do their own thing” as we see an increase in “freelance firefighting” in rural areas.
The following Draft Service Standards are currently out for consultation and members are encouraged to provide feedback.
The VFFA is sharing this material to help provide the widest circulation possible.
Send you feedback or enquiries by email to email@example.com or provide your feedback via the MyRFS forums.
1. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 – Notice of Grievance Form.
2. Consultation Draft Service Standard 1.1.3 Grievances v3.0
The RFSA telemarketing scandal has damaged the reputation of the RFSA as seen in this newspaper editorial.
We are still waiting to find out how much was spent on the RFSA birthday celebrations at Penrith Panthers using money donated by the public.
A move to a regional or rural area has many benefits.
This post features a Radio 2GB podcast.
The podcast is very interesting and somewhat scary in terms of population growth in the big cities. Chris Smith (Radio 2GB) speaks with Foundation for Regional Development CEO, Peter Bailey, about decentralisation.
Barnaby Joyce is calling upon regional Australians to make it clear on why areas outside big cities deserve jobs.
The Nationals believe in decentralisation which is spreading job opportunities across Australia.