The Police & Emergency Services Minister, Mike Gallacher, resigned today after the ICAC heard he had hatched a “corrupt scheme” to receive illegal donations from property developers.
It’s been a busy two weeks for the Liberal State Government, with ICAC hearings dispatching both the former Premier, and now his Police Minister. These latest revelations confirm that rather than being honest brokers, this government is just as bent as the previous mob and hypocrites to boot.
But what does it mean for firefighters? The budget cuts to FRNSW, and the consequent station closures, remain. Things are set to worsen as the cuts increase next financial year. Job losses and permanent station closures are likely. While the ICAC findings make the government more politically vulnerable, they do nothing in and of themselves to change their policy of gutting the public sector.
The new Minister and Premier need to understand that FBEU members across NSW will be ramping up the campaign against the budget cuts and station closures between now and the 2015 election, and that the government can avoid this happening. All they need to do is recognise that firefighting is a “front line” service, and on that basis reverse the budget cuts. So do we do this the easy way or the hard way? The choice is theirs.
Victorian deployment accommodation
The Victorian Taskforce has now been wound up. Members entitlements were generally respected through the deployment, apart from some instances of substandard accommodation.
The Union and the Department have agreed that members subjected to substandard accommodation will be compensated, on a case-by-case basis. Members who believe they were afforded inappropriate accommodation while on deployment should contact the Union office to make a claim.
The IRC has re-listed the Permanent and the Death & Disability Awards for mention on 9 May.
The Department this week finally accepted Justice Walton’s recommendation (see SITREP 15) regarding the Retained Award. It is anticipated that the new Award will be made 9 May.
The increasingly ugly noises emanating from Canberra about 70 year old pension eligibility will have significant impacts upon our industry and this has not been lost upon your officials. Dealing with this, and health and fitness testing, is looming as a significant issue for 2014 and beyond.
Members are reminded that this year’s May Day March and celebrations will be held this Sunday, 4 May with members meeting at Parliament House, Macquarie Street at 1130 hours. I hope to see you there.
For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.