Media Statement – Volunteer Bush Fire Service welcomes report of Auditor General
The Association representing 77% of WA’s emergency service personnel has welcomed today’s report from the Auditor General into the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ (DFES) Support and Preparedness of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteers.
AVBFB Executive Officer Darren Brown said that on first reading, the report confirms that there is significant room for improvement in a number areas, especially relating to the way DFES communicates and consults with volunteers.
“While many of the deficiencies highlighted in the report are disappointing and cause significant distress to some volunteers, it is pleasing that the work the AVBFB has done in having those issues addressed has finally prompted formal recognition and plans for improvement,” Mr Brown said.
“We maintain that the vast majority of differences between government and emergency services volunteers could be resolved with better consultation, more respect for the expertise and experience of the state’s hard working volunteers and greater sensitivity for the unique motives and challenges faced by our incredible unpaid workforce.”
“We note that the Auditor General has made a number of references to the need for better consultation and look forward to collaborating with government to resolve this and the other areas of improvement noted in the report.”
Mr Brown said the AVBFB will now take some time to consult with volunteers regarding the report and formulate a more detailed response to the Auditor General’s report in due course.
Please note: The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades will not be making further comment on this issue today
The full report of the Auditor General can be downloaded here: https://audit.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/report2015_17-Emergency.pdf