State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are being paid to assist with COVID-19 operational roles which has resulted in less front-line volunteers being available to assist in daily callouts.
Highly trained SES volunteers have been lured into helping to enforce COVID-19 measures at the airport and medi-hotels.
“This State Government initiative has diverted in-demand volunteers from assisting our local communities”, said Mr Duluk.
“This week, it was reported that the SES responded to over 90 callouts due to the wet and wild weather. As we enter these Winter months, the resources of experienced SES volunteers are crucial to responding to car accidents, fallen trees, incidents of flooding and provide training to new members.
“When recently visiting my local SES Group to discuss their constraints and needs, it was brought to my attention that as a result of trained volunteers now working in COVID-19 roles, only a handful of remaining volunteers are available to respond to the majority of call-outs.
“This scenario has reduced the number of active volunteer hours, as paid volunteers may not have the capacity to volunteer after working their COVID-19 shifts and attending to personal affairs.
“Paying volunteers has also caused confusion within local Groups over the essential philosophy that the SES is a volunteer-centred organisation.
The Member for Waite asked the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, the Hon Vincent Tarzia MP to explain this situation in Parliament.
The Minister responded by saying “I believe it was about 42 members who have been employed on short-term contracts” and indicated that these contracts would be continued into the near future.
“The State Government must ensure that all SES Units are adequality volunteered and staffed over the Winter period”, said Mr Duluk.
Local member Sam Duluk MP continues to seek further support and funding for his local Sturt SES Group.
Please contact Sam Duluk MP for media comment (8278 5844)