Sitrep 62/2022: Meeting with the Premier; Sydney Metro; Last SCOM meeting for 2022 and the Commissioner’s fading memory

December 16, 2022

FBEU Meeting with Premier Perrottet 

The FBEU met with Premier Dominic Perrottet earlier this week, to discuss a wide range of issues that are crucial to our membership. I was pleased that the Premier was willing to consider most of our concerns. Mr. Perrottet was receptive to the needs of professional firefighters, and we will be continuing our negotiations with him in the New Year. We understand that Mr. Perrottet has written to Commissioner Baxter this week about the status of the vaccine mandates. Mr. Perrottet is awaiting Commissioner Baxter’s response.

Update: Sydney Metro Project Cross-Passage Tunnels

Last night the FBEU received the Sydney Metro risk assessment, developed in support of Metro’s deviation from safe firefighting standards concerning cross-passage spacing in the Metro rail runnel projects. We initially reported about this in Sitrep 59/2022.

The opening lines of the document outline a position that the construction cost associated with maintaining safe firefighting standards is ‘grossly disproportionate’ to the safety benefits awarded to ‘occupants’ during rail tunnel fire events.

The Union have invited Metro to a FRNSW facility next week to ‘walk in the shoes’ of a firefighter during a major incident, and so they are fully aware of the exceptionally dangerous realities that firefighters face.

Commissioner, did we escape your memory?

Members would have received an email from Commissioner Baxter in recent days celebrating the government’s announcement of $34.3 million over the next 18 months to enhance FRNSW’s flood rescue capabilities. While we are relieved to hear that the NSW government is listening to firefighters about what we need to do our job properly, we did notice that Commissioner Baxter forgot to mention the hard work the FBEU and our members have put in to achieve this outcome. Prior to the FBEU raising this very serious issue at the Flood Enquiry earlier this year, FRNSW hadn’t brought this up with the Government. The FBEU were a driving force behind this funding, but the Commissioner must’ve had a momentary lapse of memory when composing his email.

Last SCOM meeting for the year

SCOM met for the last time this year to discuss a draft Log of Claims. We’ll endeavour to provide our members with further updates in the New Year.

I’d like to thank our SCOM members for their hard work and dedication to our members this year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger and stronger 2023.

In Unity

Leighton Drury

State Secretary


A printable version of this Sitrep can be downloaded here.