This week is National Volunteer Week: a time when as a community we reflect on and celebrate the enormous value and work of our volunteers. This includes CFS and SES volunteers. Greens MLC Tammy Franks will be bringing her Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charter) Bill to a vote on the 5th of June. This Bill seeks to enshrine the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters in legislation, as well as mandate that governments consult with the CFS and SES volunteers in respect to matters that concern them.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks:
“This is simple legislation that would take the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters that currently sit in the regulations of this Bill and move them into the legislation itself. This is an important move to ensure that volunteers know they are valued and know that they are supported by the work of Parliament and Government.
“This legislation keeps being promised to CFS and SES Volunteers and has repeatedly been brought before the Parliament, but we keep falling short. It’s well past time to make what is such a small change to the Fire and Emergency Services Act, but a change that has such a large impact.
“CFS and SES volunteers provide an essential and invaluable service to our community. It is vital that we recognize their work by guaranteeing they get a say in what happens to them at an organizational level.
“Whilst successive Governments have said they support this legislation and the Volunteer Charters in question, the reason this legislation is necessary is because Governments have not been abiding by the charter in letter or in spirit. This Bill will compel the government to respect the charter.
Both the SES Volunteers Association and the CFS Volunteers Association support moving the Charters into legislation, mirroring what has been done by the Victorian Government.