Volunteer firefighter numbers up, despite anger at increases to ESL bills

VOLUNTEER firefighter numbers have surged in the wake of major blazes including the Sampson Flat inferno, despite controversy over increases to Emergency Services Levy bills. The top brass of South Australia’s emergency services and Treasury officials today fronted a meeting of State Parliament’s Economic and Finance committee. CFS chief executive Greg Nettleton told the committee…

WA Volunteers recognised

The following news article was published by GWN/7 News on 18 May about the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades winning the Volunteer of the Year Award.   More than 2900 fires have broken out in WA already this year. And many of them have been put out by volunteers. Tens of thousands of volunteers are at…

Humility wins out for our volunteers

From a young environmentalist to a 90-year-old aged care worker, this year’s outstanding WA volunteers have one thing in common – humility. “Being a volunteer you don’t expect this but it’s nice to think I am achieving this. I am very grateful,” Betty Fairclough, 90, said. Ms Fairclough was awarded the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering…

2015 Australian Fire Cadet Championships

The 2015 Australian Fire Cadet Championships will again be co-hosted by the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Rural Fire Service Association at Myuna Bay Sport & Rec Camp from 28 September – 1 October 2015. Official invitations to compete have been sent to DFES from Commissioner Fitzsimmons. The website, www.fire-cadets.org.au and the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AustralianFireCadetChampionships…

Survival Story

Below is a short story that appeared on the Channel Nine News on Thursday 23 April regarding the terrible accident that befell Mt Helena Volunteer Bush Fire Fighter Steve Hart. Assisted by his mate and fellow firefighter Mick Fitpatrick, Steve tells Nine report Ben Hennessy that he owes his life to the correct use of…

Bushfire scientist David Packham warns of huge blaze threat, urges increase in fuel reduction burns

Forest fuel levels have worsened over the past 30 years because of “misguided green ideology”, vested interests, political failure and mismanagement, creating a massive bushfire threat, a former CSIRO bushfire scientist has warned. Victoria’s “failed fire management policy” is an increasing threat to human life, water supplies, property and the forest environment, David Packham said…

Minister Terry Redman defends validity of using Royalties for Regions’ money for prescribed burning

Western Australia’s Minister for Regional Development, Terry Redman, says using Royalties for Regions’ funding to help the prescribed burning program is a legitimate use of the scheme. Last week, Mr Redman pledged to get Royalties for Regions’ funding allocated to prescribed burning in the wake of the Northcliffe bushfires. Speaking on ABC Local Radio, the…

Capricorn Festival moves

COMMUNITY groups will be fundraising and promoting their volunteer services at a fair in Two Rocks this Saturday. The annual Capricorn Festival will shift north to Charnwood Reserve on March 21 after organisers decided it had outgrown its usual venue at Old Nursery Park in Yanchep. Acumen principal Jarrod Rendell said having the festival in…

Quirk offended by WA fire station minder

LABOR leader Mark McGowan says a ban preventing his emergency services spokeswoman from visiting fire stations is another personal attack on the feisty MP. But Mr McGowan concedes he hasn’t read the complaint made by a firefighter against Margaret Quirk after she visited a fire station, which prompted emergency services minister Joe Francis to enforce…

MP banned from fire station visits

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis has taken the unusual step of banning shadow emergency services minister Margaret Quirk from visiting fire stations because of complaints she was “rude and disrespectful” on a recent visit. Ms Quirk dismissed the ban as a “political stunt” after Mr Francis wrote to her after her visit to East Perth…