In a win for respect for CFS and SES Volunteers, today the Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charter) Bill has passed in the House of Assembly with the support of all sides of politics after it was moved by Troy Bell MP. This Bill had already passed the Legislative Council, where it was sponsored by Tammy Franks MLC, and enshrines the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters in the Act itself (rather than in regulations).
The campaign to enshrine the Charter in the Act goes back many years and was previously championed by cross-bench MPs Rob Brokenshire and Dr Duncan McFetridge. Putting the Charter into the Act was a Marshall Liberal party election promise. The Charter mandates that Government must consult with the CFS and SES volunteers in respect to matters that concern them.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“Today through cross-party support of a private members Bill the SA Parliament has finally shown some guaranteed, mandated respect for those in our community who protect us. From today those volunteers can expect respect from the Government, and the Parliament will hold any Minister who does not uphold that promise to account."
“CFS and SES volunteers provide an essential and invaluable service to our community. It’s fantastic that through this legislation our Parliament can formally recognize their valuable work and firmly guarantee that CFS and SES volunteers get a say in matters that affect them and their organisations."
“This is an important move to ensure that volunteers know they are valued and know that they are supported by the work of both Parliament and the Government of the day."