This news article appeared in the Daily Liberal on February 2nd 2018. It is clear that the Lets put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service campaign is beginning to bear fruit.
Congratulations to Mayor, Ben Shields for his support.
Progress is being made on the construction of a Rural Fire Service training facility.
Dubbo Regional Council has awarded a tender for the demolition of buildings at Dubbo City Regional Airport where the training facility will be constructed.
The centre will provide specialist training in areas such as incident management, road crash rescue and fire investigation, as well as member induction training.
With a 30-year lease agreement in place, it is fair to say that the flow-on effects will be felt in the local economy well into the future, says Mayor Ben Shields.
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.
Mr Grant forgot one simple fact. The NSW RFS headquarters does not put the fires out.
Firefighters (full time, part time and volunteer) put the fires out.
The Hon. Philip Donato (Orange) asks the question (directed to the Minister for Police, and Minister for Emergency Services) “In light of the recent announcement on the new Rural Fire Service training facility in Dubbo, will the Minister now reconsider the relocation of the entire Rural Fire Service headquarters to the Central West?”
Radio 2UUU morning host, Barry Mac talks to the Hon. Robert Borsak MLC (Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party) about the inquiry into and report on emergency services agencies with a focus upon:
1. Bullying, harassment and discrimination
2. Support structures in place to assist victims
3. Support services available to emergency services workers and volunteers with related mental health issues
4. The appropriateness of uniforms provided to personnel in emergency services agencies
5. The relocation of the New South Wales Rural Fire Services Headquarters to Orange, Dubbo or Parkes
Submissions close on the 23rd July 2017
Please don’t remain silent, the VFFA is prepared to assist where possible and we have been assured that a range of protective measures can be applied if you are worried about retribution.
A newsletter (from the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades WA Inc) clearly highlights that volunteer firefighters in Western Australia are endangered unless radical changes to the existing city-centric management occur. The VFFA continues to campaign to protect the future of volunteer firefighters in New South Wales from the same demise.
The decline of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has been documented in their own financial reports.
… our diverse volunteer family needs specialist understanding and better support… something that a city-centric, para-military bureaucracy simply can not deliver.
If the NSW Government does not move the NSW Rural Fires Service head office to a regional or rural locality, we are in danger of losing any hope of restoring faith in the NSW RURAL Fire Service. We need to take immediate action. Any delay puts the future of our volunteer based RURAL Fire Service at greater risk.
Leaving the NSW RURAL Fire Service in Sydney will further exacerbate the situation with catastrophic levels of bureaucracy and red tape that is far removed from the grass roots service delivery that regional and RURAL people once knew. Today’s city-centric management has lost touch with the original intention of the RURAL Fire Service with skilled and experienced firefighters walking away after many years of dedicated service.
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.
A very big and sincere well done to the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro as he explains the “Easy to do business” program.
Mr Barilaro talks about streamlining business operations, boosting the NSW economy, making it easier and the removal of red tape.
He also suggests that much of the bureaucracy associated with the red tape is typical of government.
The VFFA fully supports this fantastic approach but are disappointed in the short sightedness of the NSW Nationals when it comes to the failure to see the vast benefits of relocating the NSW Rural Fire Service Head Office or larger parts thereof to a regional area.