Brigade Money is State Money from 1st July

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If this bad legislation goes through, on the 1st of July your brigade money is State money, and all your brigade assets becomes State assets.

The RFBAQ held its General Meeting in Mackay over Saturday and Sunday 16th and 17th March.

QFES senior staff attended to answer questions relating to brigade bank accounts, brigade owned equipment and vehicles, and what the legal position of a brigade will become from the 1st of July if this bad legislation is passed by Parliament.

The advice that we received from QFES senior staff was that as at July 1st brigades will no longer be unincorporated associations.

What will this mean?

  • Brigades will no longer be able to moderate their membership.
  • The brigade money in bank accounts will no longer be brigade money that is accountable to the community or council, but will be considered money of the State.
  • Trucks and equipment that is currently owned by the brigades will become property of the State.

The RFBAQ asked the questions regarding how brigades would purchase and dispose of equipment in the future and would State Government procurement and disposal guidelines apply. The QFES senior staff were unable to answer, as there have been no financial delegations developed. 

This bad draft legislation has had no forethought or rigour applied in how brigades will be affected.

No brigades were consulted and neither was the RFBAQ on what ramifications would be from this bad draft legislation as it is a hurried rewrite of already out-of-date legislation to give power to a small clique of Brisbane-based senior Fire and Rescue officers. 

As the deadline for submissions to the Community Safety and Legal Affairs Committee was open for less than a week and is now closed, brigades cannot have their voices heard. The RFBAQ wrote to the Committee requesting an extension of time to allow brigades to meet and formulate their positions, however our correspondence remains unanswered. You can read the RFBAQ submission on our website here.

Brigades, get onto your local RFBAQ Representative who attended the meeting and hear from them how QFES is completely unprepared for the massive and detrimental change to brigades and communities that this bad legislation will start.

Brigades, get onto your local Member of Parliament and tell them that if this bad draft legislation is passed into Parliament by the Miles Labor Government that they need to vote it down.

The State Government has previously absorbed association's money and assets, and there is machinery of government process for it, and once it is done then it is done for good.

There are no second chances to maintain brigade and community autonomy if this bad draft legislation is passed, the only way to guarantee retaining the self-determination of the brigade and community is for this bad draft legislation to be voted down.

The RFBAQ has written to each political party and independent represented in Parliament, asking them to sign a commitment to rural fire brigades post the 2024 Queensland State Election. 

The motion introduced by Ian Pike AFSM to the full meeting of the RFBAQ State Executive 14th October 2023 was:

That the RFBAQ write to every registered political party in Queensland prior to the 2024 State Election calling for a commitment in the next term of government for a fully independent Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ).  

For the RFSQ to have a Chief Officer, from a brigade background, who reports directly to the Minister. For RFSQ to have a separate legislation and budget and for the reformed RFSQ to be comprised of rural fire brigades, Fire Wardens and rural fire staff.

Rural Fire Service staff are to provide support and training to the brigades and their members. These brigades and support staff help landholders mitigate risk from bushfire, respond to fires and other emergencies, provide education to Queenslanders relating to fire and perform other rescue functions as delegated by the Chief Officer of the RSFQ.

This was passed unanimously. 

We again ask the Miles Labor Government to please pull this bad draft legislation that was sprung on Parliament and rushed through Committee.

All Members of Parliament:

Please vote NO

to this bad draft legislation.

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