2015 Rural Fire Brigades State Election Policy support offer
Monday, 1 Dec 2014
On Thursday 27th November the RFBAQ wrote to every registered political party in Queensland offering to support them in formulating policies for Rural Fire Brigades (RFB) leading up to the Queensland State Election.
RFB’s are the largest emergency service response organisation in Queensland with around 1,000 yellow fire appliances, 415 fire stations, 460 trailer firefighting units and 2,770 slip on firefighting units. This allows RFB’s to not only meet the hazard mitigation, community awareness and firefighting needs of their diverse communities, but ensures that the whole of Queensland is supported by RFB volunteers following floods, cyclones and any other natural disaster affecting the state.
Through historical anomaly, political parties in Queensland have not previously committed to the creation of policies during an election campaign that outlines support for Rural Fire Brigades, who are the largest emergency service response organisation in Queensland. This is at odds with other states in Australia, where comprehensive political policies are developed by all parties to specifically support volunteer fire agencies.
The RFBAQ contest that following the successive reviews into Rural Fire in Queensland and the demonstrated capability of Rural Fire Brigade volunteers, the 2015 Queensland State Election presents a seminal opportunity for all registered political parties to develop, with support, comprehensive and cohesive election commitments to the largest emergency service response organisation in Queensland.
The RFBAQ believe that there are a number of important policies that can be introduced during the 55th Queensland Parliament to improve the level of support provided to the 35,000 Rural Fire Brigade volunteers and the communities that they defend:
- Rural Fire Brigade Volunteers included as Fire Service Officers under QFES Legislation.
- Emergency Management Fire & Rescue Levy to be distributed to brigades as per RFBAQ policy.
- Presumptive Legislation for Rural / Auxiliary / Urban firefighters without discriminatory qualifying / attendance prerequisites.
- Conditions of Service MOU for Rural Fire Brigade volunteers.
- Full implementation of Malone Review into the Rural Fire Service Queensland in keeping with the intent of Malone Review.
- Clear workable definition of the legal status of brigades reflecting Crown Law advice 2011.
The RFBAQ can support every registered political party in Queensland with supporting information and historical context that will allow for the development of election policies and provide assurances to the volunteers.
The RFBAQ guarantees that all of these election policies will be made readily available to Rural Fire Brigade volunteers and the wider public, so that an informed decision can be made on election day.
Follow this link to the RFBAQ website which will be continuously updated as progress is made towards the creation of election policies.
Once the state election is called, the RFBAQ will be writing to candidates seeking their support for RFB’s, and these responses will also be made available on the same website link.
The Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) is the acknowledged representative body for the 1,441 Rural Fire Brigades (RFB’s) in Queensland who comprise over 35,000 volunteers protecting 93% of the State.
The RFBAQ is a non-political, self-funded and democratically elected association that reflects the views of Rural Fire Brigades in Queensland.
The aims, policy and goals of the RFBAQ are set by the 17 elected District Representatives who are all volunteer firefighters of long standing within their brigades and communities.
These Representatives provide local volunteers with a contact and support structure that ensures that all different classes of Rural Fire Brigade are represented fairly.