The Nationals WA Emergency Services Spokesperson Colin de Grussa says it is disappointing that the Minister for Emergency Services has again failed to consult and support volunteer firefighters.
The Minister has rejected an offer from WA’s peak body for volunteer firefighters to co-locate at the Bushfire Centre of Excellence to be built in Nambeelup.
Mr de Grussa said Mr Logan had made numerous comments promising to bridge the divide between volunteer and career firefighters.
“The Minister has recognised the divide currently felt between volunteer and career firefighters, but when given the opportunity to start repairing this relationship, he’s been completely non-committal,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades has held out an olive branch, and is making an effort to create a transparent collaboration between volunteer and career fire services, but the Minister is refusing to play ball.
“It’s blatantly disrespectful and highlights the Minister’s continued failure towards volunteer firefighters.”
Member for the South West Colin Holt echoed Mr de Grussa’s comments, saying it was disappointing that that the Minister failed to address the offer from the peak body of Bush Fire Brigades to move its headquarters to the new centre of excellence.
“The move would to improve cooperation and collaboration between our bush fire volunteers, the Rural Fire Division and local governments.
“Minister Logan continues to disrespect the important role volunteer firefighters play within our communities, and instead actively works to exclude them,” Mr Holt said.
There are currently 26 000 volunteer firefighters in Western Australia, and approximately 1100 career Department of Fire and Emergency Services officers.
Establishing the $18 million Bushfire Centre of Excellence was a recommendation of the Waroona Bushfire Special Inquiry.