November 21, 2002

Bogus RFSA yelps over Union Code 2 notice

The Rural Fire Service Association – the unrepresentative lackeys of Rosehill – this week issued a media release attacking your Union’s 7 week old direction to no longer accept Code 2’s from the RFS. A copy of their media release follows below for the information (and amusement) of members.

Of some interest – well it would be if they actually meant it – is the bogus outfit’s claim that they“are committed to continuing to ensure that the community of New South Wales has the opportunity of the [sic] receiving the best resourced and coordinated fire service possible.”

What a load of tripe. The RFSA’s “community of NSW” does not include the people of Terrey Hills, Gerringong or the numerous other urbanised areas around the state who continue to be denied professional firefighters purely and simply due to RFS opposition.

The RFSA also says that “there has never been better cooperation between the two [fire] services.” This “never been better” nonsense is a well worn line trotted out by the Minister, the Department and/or Rosehill whenever anyone (like the Coroner or the FBEU) dares to criticise any aspect of the Government’s two fire service policy. Sadly, but true to form, the NSWFB came to the RFSA’s (and Minister’s) rescue almost on cue:

NSW Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Greg Mullins said relationships between the RFS and the fire brigade had never been better. And he said the instruction by the FBEU was being ignored by most firefighters. “It appears that this may have been the views of an individual in the union,” he said. “Our understanding is that it’s been totally ignored by firefighters. “Relationships are excellent and we are out there fighting fires together.”

About the only constructive thing the RFSA’s release has really achieved is to confirm just how much the Union’s Code 2 direction has upset them.

That, and the fact that the RFSA (and Rosehill) disappeared without trace during the real story of the week – the very public debate as to whether or not volunteer firefighters should be paid for their labour. While the likes of Tony Abbott, Alan Jones and John Laws were all to be found speaking on the subject, the organisation which claims to represent the volunteers maintained a stony silence.

And therein lies the real reason behind the RFSA’s release almost 7 weeks after the Union first issued our RFS Code 2 No More notice back on 4 October. It’s just another attempt by Phil and his cohorts to conjure up the evil union bogey so as to deflect attention from a debate that they simply do not want to have.

Stay United!

Chris Read
State Secretary