October 7, 1998

As part of the negotiations surrounding the Union’s Country Staffing Proposal, the Department wrote, in the following terms, to the Union on 4 September 1998:

“The department recognises the unique circumstances surrounding the provision of specialist bush fire appliance and crews in the GSA and proposes to replace the existing pumpers at 48 Mortdale, 66 Rhodes, 72 Merrylands and 79 Ingleburn with new type 1 pumpers. These vehicles will enable the NSW Fire Brigades to provide a multi-function role from these strategic locations.

  1. It is the NSW Fire Brigades intention to continue the present response arrangements for these stations.
  2. It is proposed that additional functional responsibilities be allocated to these stations including; bush fire response/hazard reduction and storm and tempest response.
  3. Water Tankers located at 75 Berowra, 78 Dunheved, 86 Penrith and 88 Campbelltown will be used to supplement bushfire protection afforded by the 4 stations nominated above.

The three pumpers released from stations, 48, 72 and 79 will be reallocated to the appliance pool where they will replace 1610 model International appliances. (It should be noted that 66 station Rhodes has already been allocated a type 1 pumper).”

The Union responded on 14 September 1998, as follows:

“The Union offers its in-principle agreement for the Department’s proposal at this point, although further discussions and subsequent agreement with the Department as to the identification of the 1610 International appliances to be replaced…would be expected.”

Whilst there has been no specific date set for the above changes to be effected there is nothing preventing these changes save an assurance from the Department that the Union will be involved in discussions as to which of the older 1610 model Internationals will be replaced. Given the onset of the bushfire season, the Union now expects such an assurance sooner rather than later. Station Delegates should direct questions to Iain Bailey at the Union Office.

Chris Read

State Secretary