SitRep 39/2024

June 21, 2024


Today, FBEU members picketed the Electoral office of Labor Government MPs in a further escalation of our bargaining dispute. These actions, undertaken by both on and off-shift members, serve as a warning to the Minns Government that further escalations will occur if they continue to remain absent from the bargaining table.

Fittingly, today also marks the anniversary of the FBEU’s successful general strike of 2012 in response to the then Liberal Government’s attacks on workers compensation. I want to take the opportunity to express thanks to all FBEU members who took the difficult but crucial decision to act on 21 June 2012. To members involved in today’s action, your determination to stay united and resolute are as important to our future as they are to our past. And, as the Minns Government continues to test our resolve, it is imperative that we continue to act together.

Members will continue to rally at MP offices into next week along with tonight’s Code Red (below) and further industrial action to be announced next week.



As members would know, we are often forced to perform tasks beyond our primary responsibilities, including handling situations that should be done by other agencies. This includes managing traffic at incident scenes, a task for which our members have not received specific training or qualification, and for a number of years been left to us due to under resourcing of the NSW Police.

Given the above, effective immediately, all FBEU members are directed to take the following action when working on roadways:

Roads, or light rail lines where needed, must be closed using your appliance and or traffic cones until police or designated traffic management personnel arrive to take over.

This instruction remains in place until lifted by the State Secretary.



As referenced in Sitrep 38, this week also marked the release of the 2024 NSW budget. A media release from Minister Dib on Sunday notes an additional $189.5 million over 4 years to provide ‘job security’ for almost 300 professional firefighters. It is important that we are clear on what this really is. Since taking office in March 2023, FBEU officials have consistently advocated for the Minns Government to undertake a thorough examination for structural deficits within the department’s financials. As the Minister correctly identifies, the previous Liberal Government had failed to fund hundreds of FRNSW personnel, including those at newly opened 095 Oran Park, on an ongoing basis beyond the end of this Financial Year. In addition to the public airing of the FRNSW ‘Plus Plan’, the lack of solid examination and funding of our establishment numbers is yet further evidence of the historic and strategic under resourcing of professional firefighters which has occurred at all levels of decision-making.

Members will note that the Minister also flags a $15.4 million land acquisition investment to build a new 24-hour (3 appliance) station in Badgerys Creek. The announcements delivers on only 20% of the expansion which FRNSW recently cited as needing urgently to accommodate the Western Sydney Airport development. Given that it took almost a decade for the previous Government to open 095 Oran Park, members are encouraged to take this announcement with a grain of salt.

So, while the Minister’s acknowledgement and rectification of these systematic issues are an important step forward, this budget falls short in providing FBEU members and the NSW community with the fire service it needs for 2024 and beyond.



 Members may be aware that a Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the ‘assets, premises and funding of the NSW Rural Fire Service’ commenced early this year. In part, the inquiry attempts to examine matters raised in the 2023 ‘Red Fleet’ Bill and the scathing 2023 NSW Audit Office Performance Report into the management of RFS assets.

An FBEU submission to the inquiry calls for an urgent examination of the number of ‘active’ RFS volunteering numbers. A copy of the submission can be found here.


In Unity,

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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