Malone Review Working Group extended to ensure that the Volunteers voice is heard

Friday, 4 Apr 2014

Malone Review Working Group extended to ensure that the Volunteers voice is heard

The important changes that the Malone Review into the Rural Fire Service has encompassed has seen the working group now extended beyond March 31st.

As the only review undertaken in Queensland that was in response to Volunteer demand, and the only review in Queensland that consulted heavily with Volunteers in the formulation of its recommendations, the RFBAQ supports Ted Malone MP (Assistant Minister for Emergency Volunteers) in extending the life of the working group to ensure that implementations supports Rural Fire Brigades and the communities that they defend.

Since the handing down of the Keelty Report (PACSR) in September last year and the structural announcement that Rural Fire and State Emergency Services would report to a combined Deputy Commissioner, many of the Malone recommendations now encompass improvements and changes for SES Volunteers and Units across Queensland. This in-turn has increased the volume of work undertaken by the Malone Review Working Group.

As at 31st March, the status of the 91 Recommendations are:

  • Closed and ready for implementation ' 68
  • Awaiting legislative amendment before closure ' 10
  • Awaiting finalisation by Malone Review Working Group ' 13

The RFBAQ sees the next stage will be the overview and guidance during the implementation of a number of recommendation. This will ensure that Volunteers receive a workable and pragmatic system of support that enshrines the ability for all Emergency Volunteer organisations to meet their local operational needs, in the diverse communities that they defend.

Within Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) the majority of response and recovery operations are undertaken by Volunteers, whether they be Rural Fire, SES, Volunteer Marine Rescue or Coast Guard. These Volunteer ranks are supported by a small number of paid and part-time employees who also provide frontline service delivery in Queensland.

The RFBAQ believes that by correctly implementing the recommendations of the Malone Review, the number of Emergency Volunteers in all agencies will grow and that the retention rate of existing Volunteers will also increase. Through this empowerment, all communities across Queensland will be better defended from the weather extremes that Queenslanders endure.

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