The Volunteer Firefighters Association (VFFA) is continuing its push for the state government to put the “rural back into Rural Fire Service (RFS)”, now that the lease on the RFS Headquarters will cease in 2018.
There has been some discussion (even in NSW) about the implications of setting up an independent fire service.
When you look back in time, at the way that the NSW RFS began, it seems to have gone full circle:
1. Neighbours pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.
2. A larger group of people working together as above but forming a brigade that is supported by local government.
3. A state based organisation working with local governments to support local brigades.
4. The state based organisation builds an empire that looses focus upon the reason they are their in the first place.
5. The state based organisation grows bigger with bureaucracy and over complication clouding their ability to properly serve those local brigades.
6. Local brigades get frustrated.
7. Experienced people often leave.
8. Neighbours consider pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.
The Wambelong fire of January 2013, burnt out the Warrumbungle National Park, destroyed scores of surrounding properties and shattered the lives of many people in the Coonabarabran community.
The subsequent Coronial Inquest and Parliamentary Inquiry made 52 recommendations.
It has taken well over three years for the government to respond to the recommendations, this article looks at some of the local responses from the Coonabarabran community.
Feel free to add your comments.
Mr Elliott claims that we now have 74,516 volunteers in the RFS.
We disagree with that claim, but don’t take our word for it, ask around for yourself. Go to a few country towns and ask the local Brigade how many people they have on the books, then ask how many are actively engaged in the day to day activities of that Brigade.
On Thursday 3rd June 1999, Andrew Clennell published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled: “Hollywood fire chief has too much power: councils”, many Volunteers have suggested that nothing has changed and it is getting worse.
VFFA President, Brian Williams talk to ABC’s Rural Country Hour Host, Michael Condon.
He said that the inquiry was conducted in a very methodical way, heard valuable testimony and was very balanced in the way it went about its business.
“The NSW Upper House inquiry made 29 recommendations to help avoid future bushfires across national parks and farmland.”
“The recommendations of the inquiry represent commonsense improvements to fire management.”
1. Funding – The NSW Rural Fire Service budget for the next financial year is $361 million, which is an increase of 8.6 per cent – that is a $29 million increase on the previous year’s allocation in real terms.
2. Relocation of the RFS headquarters – Are you saying that it could be in Sydney or moved to regional New South Wales?
3. 10 50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Scheme
NSW Farmers have published a series of media releases and we are very keen to help them distribute their message far and wide.
A tug-of-war has erupted over the location of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) headquarters. NSW Farmers wants the agency to move from Sydney to the Central West when its lease ends in 2018, but the RFS hierarchy has made its city-centric preference clear.