The QFES knew for years Rural Fire Brigade Members were not covered
Monday, 24 Oct 2022
The RFBAQ have been pointing out this very problem to the old QFRS and then the QFES for a decade now. The RFBAQ have been calling for change regarding this very matter and have also provided examples of a better way that is currently in Tasmanian Legislation.
The QFES has been negligent over many years in this matter. This goes so far back that it was recommendation 1 of the Parliamentary Review by the Public Accounts and Public Works Committee in 2011 - https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tableoffice/tabledpapers/2011/5311T4568.pdf. The recommendations from the Legal Status of Brigades also encompasses the need for this change.
We had a Legislative Review meeting with the QFES and the SES Association in 2016 where this was our major point of concern and both associations put forward a joint response to empower emergency volunteers.
In 2019 there was draft legislative change to the Fire Service Act 1990 and the only section regarding to Rural Fire Brigades was the QFES wishing to have the Commissioner as the legislated power to be able to sack a brigade member. So the QFES argument that you can’t get legislation changed is another furphy. (These amendments did not go ahead as many MP’s from all sides were going to fight the changes).
There is a great deal of correspondence regarding this matter from the RFBAQ to the QFES and also below are website links where we have pointed out these matters. In state election campaigns we have also written to each political party to have the powers of a 1st Officer changed. Your local RFBAQ Reps will be able to forward you the 13mb email with a selection of correspondence.
It was a core point in our submission to KPMG - https://www.rfbaq.org/rfbaq-submission-to-the-kpmg-independent-review-into-the-qfes
It was in our submission to the QFES Legislative Review - https://www.rfbaq.org/rfbaq-submission-to-qfes-legislative-review
Over the years we have asked every registered political party in Queensland to empower 1st Officers and brigade members - https://www.rfbaq.org/stateelectionpolicies
It just goes on and on the number of times the QFES was made aware of this issue.
At the end of the day the RFBAQ is not a fire service and the QFES is and the QFES did not and does not want to do it and that’s it.
Bring on the dissolution of the QFES and home rule for Rural Fire!