The incredible ladies and gents of the Wiluna Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade have been working their arses off trying to get the tools and training they need to protect their town including structural fire fighting capacity and at least one appliance that is fit for purpose.
The Member for North West Central, Vince Catania has raised it in Parliament – only to be told by Minister Logan that the locally managed Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade should change to a DFES-controlled VFES unit. The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) has written to the Commissioner Klemm and raised the issue personally with him as well as explained to the Minister’s office that the law allows Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades like the Wiluna Town VBFB to access any capability it deems necessary and without his acknowledgement of that fact, makes it look like there is a government plan to convert Bush Fire Brigades into DFES units. The great news is that the comments under this post appear to confirm that our good friend Merv Austic from the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Association is helping the Brigade with advocacy too.
We will keep up our lobbying on behalf of the amazing Wiluna crew because they need better resources to protect their local community, full stop. And we do this with our incredibly limited resources, despite seeing the dots that all join up to Wiluna Town VBFB becoming the Wiluna Town VFES sooner rather than later – and our commitment to this cause alone goes to prove that the number one concern for the hard working volunteers running the AVBFB is community safety, not any kind of turf war as some who choose to ignore our work sometimes allege.
It is also important to recognise the inter-brigade and inter-local government cooperation that this post demonstrates. Thank you Walkaway and City of Greater Geraldton for sharing your appliance with the Wiluna Town VBFB to allow them to undertake training that is absolutely critical to their ability to protect their community.