A group of more than 50 people attended the first joint WA Farmers / Bushfire Volunteers Regional Roadshow in Albany yesterday to listen and be heard regarding issues that affect many of WA’s regional areas.

Speakers including WA Farmers CEO Trevor Whittington, Bushfire Volunteers’ Historical Group Manager and Blaze Aid leader Ed Bland, Great Southern WA Country Health Service regional director Geraldine Ennis and Telstra area manager Boyd Brown provided much food for thought for the interactive audience. Among those in the audience were Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Rick Mazza, Nationals WA Member for Warren-Blackwood Terry Redman, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Member for the South West Region Hon Colin Tincknell. Bushfire Volunteers’ Lower Great Southern Zone representatives Rob Lynn and Kingsley Scott were also joined by our Volunteer Engagement Manager Alex Espey and Sinead Burke, our Communications and Media Manager.

Bushfire Volunteers’ President Dave Gossage AFSM gave an overview of some of the big issues facing our members including the lack of transparency and equity in the way the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is managed, training, the continuing fight for truly fit-for-purpose vehicles, Local Government insurance and took several questions from the audience about issues including the Rural Fire Division and the current status of the Special Inquiry into the Waroona/Yarloop Fires.

After a fantastic afternoon of discussion and engagement, many stayed to share a lovely meal courtesy of WA Farmers’ sponsors Bailiwick Legal and Dry/Kirkness Chartered Accountants.

Thank you to all who attended and especially to our wonderful Farmer Engagement Partner WA Farmers for hosting such a valuable event.