March 20, 2018

Tathra Fire
Union slams RFS cover up, confirms turf war

The 6,300 member Fire Brigade Employees’ Union of NSW (FBEU) has slammed attempts by Rural Fire Service management to deflect criticism of its handling of the Tathra fire disaster as a cover up.

“The excuses coming of out RFS Head Office today don’t stack up,” said FBEU State Secretary Leighton Drury.

“Fire and Rescue NSW crews were on stand by to help, but an ongoing turf war between the state’s two fire services caused RFS Head Office to refuse FRNSW offers of assistance until it was all too late.”

“There must be an independent inquiry into what went wrong. If RFS management is found to have rejected FRNSW’s offers of assistance then heads should roll.”

“The competition between the state’s two fire services is dysfunctional and dangerous. In this case it has contributed to the loss of scores of homes that may have been saved had FRNSW urban crews been in Tathra. It has to stop.”

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

For a printable copy of this media release, please click here.


May 30, 2017

Firefighters welcome Berejiklian Govt’s fire levy backdown

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union of NSW (FBEU), has welcomed the Premier’s announcement today that the Government’s controversial Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) has been postponed indefinitely.

“Today’s announcement is proof positive that the Premier and her Government got this billion dollar new tax hopelessly wrong,” said FBEU Secretary Leighton Drury.

“They had 6 years, an inquiry and interstate precedent to get this right, and yet they completely stuffed it.”

“The FESL is a bad tax, and the wrong way to go. It doesn’t need further review and tinkering, it needs to be scrapped.”

“The real question is why we need a levy at all? The FBEU agrees with the growing call for our fire services to be funded from consolidated revenue, just like police and other core public services.”

March 11, 2016

Firefighters’ Union calls for more women in job

Read more…

December 10, 2015

Firefighters slam unfair new emergency services tax

Firefighters have attacked the NSW Government’s proposed new emergency services tax, saying it will most impact those least able to afford it, while unequally benefiting big business.

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union also criticised Emergency Services Minister David Elliott for calling those unable to afford home insurance “shirkers”, comparing the statement to former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s infamous claim that poor people don’t drive. Read more…

November 20, 2015

Firefighters alarmed as Climate Council report reveals fire seasons have grown by 19 per cent

New research revealing a lengthening of bushfire seasons due to climate change and rapidly increasing pressures on the resources available to fight blazes must lead to urgent action at State and Federal levels to protect lives and property, according to the firefighters’ union.

The findings of the report, The Burning Issue: Climate Change and the Australian Bushfire Threat, confirm the anecdotal experiences of firefighters who are seeing major bushfires more frequently, with increasingly unpredictable behaviour adding to the danger faced by those fighting them. Read more…

November 24, 2014

New firefighters and specialist bushfire appliances welcome additions after three years of budget cuts

Firefighters have welcomed a resource boost of 40 additional staff and five new bushfire-fighting appliances, saying it will provide a boost in emergency situations as well as reducing the number of fire stations temporarily shut due to staffing shortages.

Read more…

October 15, 2014

At least four fire stations were temporarily closed as wild weather struck Sydney last night, despite the Bureau of Meteorology warning of the severe storm front, hampering the efforts of emergency services and requiring the urgent recall of off-duty firefighters.

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August 7, 2014

Last week the FBEU State Committee of Management adopted the following position on the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“The FBEU supports the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Union’s general strike in the West Bank in protest at the Israeli government’s actions and condemns attacks upon Palestinian workers and trade unionists.

The Union applauds the tremendous work done by firefighters and emergency service workers assisting the victims of recent attacks whilst being fired upon themselves.

We send our support and solidarity to all those affected by the conflict, including the families of the victims.”

August 7, 2014

Seven News ran a story on the Penrith fire and delayed response due to TOLing last Tuesday on their 6pm bulletin.

To view the story, click on this link:

August 1, 2014

Penrith fire today: response times impacted by NSW budget cuts

The grass fire that destroyed property in Penrith this afternoon could have been attacked by firefighters earlier, but for NSW Government budget cuts.

Read more…

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