It looks like the Western Australian Labor Opposition is keeping a keen eye on some of the big issues the AVBFB is raising. Here’s a question the Honourable Ljiljanna Ravlich asked the Government in Parliament yesterday about something we also flagged in our response to the DFES “Concept Paper”:
“I refer to the emergency services concept paper in which it is stated that should the Department of Fire and Emergency Services take over the running of local government bush fire brigades it would require an additional $23 million annually.
(1) Does this mean that local government authorities are subsidising the state government to the value of $23 million?
(2) Is this an admission that not enough money collected under the emergency services levy is being channelled where needed?
(3) Given that over 1 000 submissions were received and this is clearly a matter of great public importance, will the Minister for Emergency Services publicly release those submissions so that a full and comprehensive
community debate can take place?
(4) If no to (3), why not?
Hon MICHAEL MISCHIN replied:
On behalf of the Minister for Emergency Services, I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises —
(1) No. This cost would be for DFES to replicate the established structures local governments already have in place to run the brigades in their areas.
(4) Those parties who made submissions did so on the understanding they would remain confidential. Extensive consultation has already taken place, including prior to the release of a concept paper.”
It’s great to see both sides of the Parliament showing their interest in and support of the 26,000 volunteer bush fire brigade volunteers who provide the diverse, rewarding and invaluable service to our community. Thanks guys!