August 16, 1998

Following an inspection of No. 51 Station, Forestville and comprehensive discussions with the members at the station today, it is clear that the continued occupancy of No 51 Station during building work is no longer a viable option.

The Union’s officials raised this as a potential problem with Region North management literally months before the work began, but were assured that there would be no problems. There have been, mostly coming with the rain which has led to severe flooding of the Station over the last few days, and indeed, weeks.

It has now been agreed that alternative arrangements much be found asap. However, our Union will require that the community and Fire District we protect is not disadvantaged as a result of this relocation, and neither are our members. It was suggested today by Region North that 51 Station could relocate to Belrose Bush Fire Station. This unprecedented option was quickly dismissed by your Union officials as being totally unacceptable. It has also been suggested that 51’s pumper and crew should relocate to 40 Station, and that 51’s tanker and crew relocate to 61 Station. This too has been dismissed by our Union as being both industrially and operationally unacceptable.

The Union holds that the only viable – and acceptable – option available to the Department is the immediate relocation of 51’s pumper and tanker to Terrey Hills. An inspection of the NSWFB property at Terrey Hills has confirmed that members could be satisfactorily accommodated there at minimum cost and inconvenience to the members, the Department and the community.

Accordingly, members are instructed to continue operating from 51 Station until 0800 hours, Tuesday 18th August. This is to allow the Department sufficient time to prepare the Brigades’ property at Terrey Hills for occupation by 51’s members. It has been agreed that 51’s tanker and crew (only) may relocate to 61 Station between 2200 hours and 0600 hours for tonight’s and tomorrow’s night shifts.

If Terrey Hills is not ready for occupation by that time, then 51’s pumper, tanker and crew shall immediately stand down and cease operations until it is. On behalf of all of the elected officials and rank and file members, I would like to thank 51’s members in advance for their patience and support over the next 38 hours.

Chris Read

State Secretary 1800 hours, Sunday 16th August, 1998