Minister meeting and update on call for an Independent Inquiry

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Yesterday Ian Pike AFSM, President of the RFBAQ and Justin Choveaux, General manager of the RFBAQ met with Nikki Boyd MP, Minister for Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery and Minister for Corrective Services.

At that meeting the RFBAQ requested the government initiate an independent inquiry into allegations of systemic contempt, bullying, harassment and discrimination based primarily on gender, professional backgrounds and progressive leadership.

Read our open letter to the Premier, here.

The RFBAQ requested that this review be managed by the Queensland Human Rights Commission, who are currently holding the Queensland Police Service Diversity and Inclusion Review

Minister Boyd informed the RFBAQ that she is meeting with stakeholders and representative groups to establish the validity of the claims that the RFBAQ has made in the open letter to Premier Miles.

Read The Premier's response letter, here.

We believe that this is the appropriate initial actions for the government to undertake to assure themselves of the validity and seriousness of the complaint by the RFBAQ.

Since releasing the open letter to the Premier, the RFBAQ has been contacted by more people who have experienced racism, bastardisation, intimidation, sexism, exclusion and almost every other unacceptable behaviour.

The commonality of these written and verbal complaints is a complete distrust in the QFES to investigate them, that multiple complaints relate to members of the QFES senior leadership and that due to the culture of victimisation and revenge against non-conformity, these victims will not tell their stories to anyone related to the QFES.

This is not a search for bad apples in a barrel; this is systemic, which means that the barrel is spoiling the apples.

The London Fire Brigade conducted the Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade in 2022.

Why we commissioned a review

Commissioning the review was a recommendation of the internal investigation into the death of a firefighter on development, Jaden Matthew Francois-Esprit, who died by suicide in August 2020. Before Jaden’s death we knew there were longstanding issues with poor culture and behaviour at the Brigade and we made many attempts to address these issues, but without success.

We commissioned this review to give current and former staff and community groups a chance to give us their feedback on our culture, and to get independent analysis so that we can improve.

Read the report, here.

The RFBAQ would like to thank all of the full time, part time and volunteer people who have contacted us from the QFES corporate and uniformed, Fire & Rescue, State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service Queensland.

We will try as hard as we can for as long as we can to ensure that your stories are heard in a safe environment without the fear of victimisation and retribution. This will hopefully stop this happening for a 3rd time in the Queensland emergency services. -

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