The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) today submitted its formal response to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ Review of the Emergency Services Acts: Concept Paper.
AVBFB President Mr Terry Hunter said the 20,000 word document was the culmination of the Association’s best endeavours to consult with as many individual members of the state’s nearly 600 volunteer bush fire brigades as well as the elected zone representatives who are charged with the responsibility of keeping their collective ears to the ground in their respective local regions.
As well as providing responses to the direct questions posed by DFES, the document also contained many frank and fearless comments that identify a number of broader challenges potentially exacerbated by the general “tone” of much of the document.
Importantly, Mr Hunter said consistent with the AVBFB’s overarching principle of being solutions-focussed, these comments were made in good faith and with the intention of improving future communication between the 26,000 Bush Fire Brigade Volunteers and the Department.
It was also noted that the DFES “concept paper” is merely the beginning of a very long road toward potential future legislation which the AVBFB is confident will include more consultation that is resourced in such a way that enables direct consultation with a larger proportion of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade members.
The AVBFB’s full submission is now available on AVBFBweb at https://www.bushfire.org.au/dfes-concept-paper-2014/