Commissioner Paul Baxter and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott fronted the State Government’s budget estimates late last month and were asked a number of difficult questions concerning TOLing, staffing across the network and response times. Here’s what we learnt:
FRNSW argue there is no agreed response times across the network. Commissioner Baxter referred to notion of response times as ‘outdated’. This is in stark contrast to the ten-minute response time quoted in Commissioner Baxter’s 2020 Budget Estimate appearance.
Despite the significant increase in population across the state, there is no planned increase in career Firefighters in NSW. On TOL’ing, our Commissioner had the following message to the community – “It’s sort of founded on an outdated understanding that they are only safe if there’s a fire truck and a fire station, if there’s one down the road”. The Commissioner also mentioned regarding the staffing at stations proposed to be added to the TOL list.
“We do that now already for each one of those stations that have more positions than we actually need”.
According to our decision makers, this is what a ‘modern’ fire service looks like.
This week, the FBEU attend community meetings at several stations threatened by FRNSW’s TOL’ing proposal.
The Union tested State Governments lines on these cuts. Community members aren’t buying it. Neither are we.
FRNSW Vaccination Mandate
Thus far, FRNSW have ignored Safework NSW requests for a written explanation as to how the employer has met their obligation to consult.
Nonetheless, Safework NSW have guaranteed consultation with HSR’s will occur in relation to the risk assessment.
The relationship with the regulator is important to all parties. We have actively encouraged FRNSW to take their role seriously, the rest is up to them. More to come on this.
A reminder to all members that the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union Rex Threlfo Annual Toast will be held on Thursday 9th December.