SitRep 27/2022

May 13, 2022


Following on from our previous SitReps, the FBEU can advise that FRNSW have agreed to put a hold on the recovery of overpayments relating to the recent deployments to the floods.

FRNSW is currently considering a position put by the FBEU to drop recovery of alleged overpayments. We will endeavour to report back to Members in due course once further discussions have been had. 

In the meantime if Members have any queries these can be directed to the FBEU via


In line with the outcomes of the SGMs held across the state in April, the FBEU has today written on behalf of Members to the Premier, Deputy Premier, Minister for Emergency Services, Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Emergency Services to express that our Members have lost confidence in FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter.

The FBEU granted Commissioner Baxter an extension of time to take action in accordance with the motion passed by Members at the SGMs until Monday 9 May 2022 to account for the fact that he was on leave at the time of sending the original correspondence.

Despite this, Commissioner Baxter has not directly communicated with the FBEU regarding this matter and has had the Executive Director of People and Culture instead send an email only yesterday advising that we could expect a response within the week. 

While we welcome any consultation and communication on the matters put by Members through the SGM motion, these concerns raised by the membership are hardly new and deserve the attention of your Commissioner.  

As we communicated in the letters sent today, NSW Professional Firefighters, both permanent and retained, along with the community of NSW deserve better from their FRNSW Commissioner. We have therefore not only expressed the loss of confidence of our Members in Commissioner Baxter’s leadership but also sought that the Government act, and the opposition advocate for, a replacement Commissioner to be found who will act in the best interests of NSW residents and Professional Firefighters.

Members can read the correspondence here.

True to form, Commissioner Baxter and the FRNSW ELT have neglected to respond or engage the FBEU regarding the recent injury of a Firefighter at work and the dire health and safety concerns across many FRNSW worksites. More to follow on this. 


With the impending publication of FRNSW’s Commissioners Order 19/20, the FBEU can reveal that FRNSW’s latest race-to-the-bottom station closure initiative is expected to save under $700,000 a year. That’s $700,000 to undermine 56 communities and their local fire response.

While interstate brigades continue to develop a transparent standard of fire response and response times, FRNSW runs headfirst into inevitable community tragedy. The FBEU office and Retained Exec are in discussions around a continued campaign on the ground in impacted communities.

In Unity

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

You can download a printable version of the SitRep here.



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