‘I can only do this for so long’: Calls to pay volunteer firies

Deborah Knight – Mick Holton on 11th December 2019

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Image: Twitter/QFES/NCR Strike Team 2

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected calls to ‘professionalise’ volunteer fire services by providing remuneration.

When asked at a press conference, the PM sparked debate by stating the issue is “not a matter that is currently under consideration by the government.”

President of the Volunteer Firefighters Association Mick Holton says there are a wide range of views among firies.

“When you talk to volunteers themselves, you do get mixed feedback.

“You get a lot of volunteers… who say they don’t feel remuneration is appropriate because it would damage the volunteer ethos. But there are many others who say ‘I can only do this for so long’.”

Concerns are being raised about the impact of long periods without paid work on volunteers’ ability to pay the bills, as the fire season continues to stretch on.

“It’s a little unrealistic for us to expect employers to pick up the tab… [but] many employers do,” Mr Holton says.

“We need to really start thinking about out-of-pocket expenses at the very least.”

Listen to the full interview (below)

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One Reply to “‘I can only do this for so long’: Calls to pay volunteer firies”

  1. I was born in central Qld and live between Brisbane and Gold Coast now
    I still have family in rural areas in Queensland
    To be honest I. Am not a volunteer fire fighter but find the situation outrageous
    I see comments online “. if you get paid your not a volunteer ”
    What sick person says this
    Our PM Scott Morrison still gets paid when he is a water or ball boy for footballers and cricket teams
    Yeah that’s right still gets his fat PM pay for volunteering as a water boy or ball boy
    How dare any Australian Goverment not compensate those that put their time and lives on the line to help the community and by doing so save the tax payer enormous funds in permanent employees
    What did Scott Morrison say recently ” I would be no good with a hose “.
    Wow. Makes him pretty useless doesn’t it

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