The Association’s North Metro Zone Representative and DCBFCO for the City of Swan, John Mangini, attended the March 7th meeting of the Perth North District Operations Advisory Committee. Other BFS volunteers attending were DCBFCOs Ian Hollick (Chittering), Nigel Morgan (Mundaring) and RTAC Chair David Wilson.
Perth North DOAC is made up of CBFCOs Jamie O’Neill (Chittering), Paul Postma (Gingin), Blake Moore (Wanneroo), Rik Mills (Swan) and Mark Casotti (Mundaring). In attendance as observers were some DFES and DPaW staff from the region.
The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) and Local Government Grants Scheme (LGGS) were the subject of significant discussion. The meeting supported mobile phones and car kits to be available for all brigade units and T shirts or work shirts to be worn under PPE/tunics. The meeting also discussed the need for a second set of PPE for brigades in high turnout rate areas to be eligible for ESL funding. LGGS inequalities were also discussed. In particular, the place where mitigation should sit in terms of the ESL was discussed and whether it should be funded separately from the ESL.
Training discussions covered issues around Pathways and E-Academy including delays in approvals and revised access arrangements for Local Government and Brigade training coordinators. It was agreed that there is an update of the North Metro training calendar which is a joint cooperative venture between the Local Governments in Perth North separate from and supplementing DFES own metro calendar.
The authority of CBFCOs was discussed in terms of their scope for decision making including authorisation of cross Local Government border turnouts. John Mangini reminded the group that the role of CBFCO is a very special one with powers and obligations very important in bush fire management. Irrespective of whether they are appointed by Local Government or DFES, restricting their decision making authority too much will result in the model that has been so effective over so many years being diminished and leading to the CBFCO title being an increasingly meaningless one with loss of operational effectiveness as a result.