The letter below was sent to DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm today asking for the period allowed for applications for the volunteer fuel card to be extended this year.
RE VOLUNTEER FUEL CARD APPLICATION PERIOD
As a result of a question asked by the Hon Colin de Grussa in Parliament on Thursday 8 December 2017, the AVBFB learned that applications for the Volunteer Fuel Card Scheme for 2017-18 are expected to open “during December” and remain open for “one month”.
We acknowledge that the relatively late start date is most likely as a result of circumstances beyond your control and also appreciate the value of a tightly defined application period. The AVBFB therefore offers the following without prejudice with the intent of assisting the department better empathise with our volunteer workforce.
While most of our State’s incredible emergency service volunteers always do their best to “find a way”, we humbly suggest that given the time deficit many will suffer due to the combination of the peak of the southern bushfire season and Christmas/New Year period, the application period should be doubled.
The AVBFB accepts that doing so would reduce the time available to distribute the cards before the end of the financial year, but believe this year’s unique circumstances make it necessary in order to not propagate the perception of a lack of understanding of volunteers’ needs.
Thank you for the work you are doing to improve the level of consideration DFES gives to the amazing women and men of WA’s various volunteer emergency services and especially for the extra effort being made to engage and consult with the AVBFB as the peak body for WA’s incredible volunteer bushfire service.