Volunteers to receive legislative boost

The heroic volunteers of the CFS and SES will soon have their rights to consultation about matters that affect them assured by legislation thanks to Marshall Government support.

The State Liberal Government will support Greens MLC Tammy Franks’s Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charters) Amendment Bill 2018 when it is brought before the Lower House.

The Volunteer Charters represent a commitment by the Government to consult with the CFS and SES volunteer associations and CFS and SES volunteers about matters that might affect them.

The Franks Bill is identical to those introduced in 2012 by former Liberal MP Duncan McFetridge and then Robert Brokenshire MLC in 2015.

Minister for Correctional Services and Emergency Services Corey Wingard said the Bill would ensure volunteers continued to be adequately consulted and their advice taken onboard when decisions are made concerning the sector.

“The State’s volunteers are the backbone of our emergency sector,” Minister Wingard said.

“They have valuable insights into how the sector should operate and we are proud to ensure their knowledge and feedback will continue to help build a safer South Australia.”

“We pride ourselves on being a cooperative Government and we are honoured to work with Ms Franks to bring this important legislation through the Lower House and into legislation.”

The identical Bill which was introduced in 2015 by Robert Brokenshire, passed in the Legislative Council with bipartisan support during the previous session of Parliament.

Unfortunately, inaction by the previous Labor Government meant it did not pass in the House of Assembly before the March 2018 election.

The desire to have Volunteer Charters in legislation first arose during the Holloway review and stemmed from a concern of some volunteers that existing agreements on consultation processes and consideration of the views of volunteers would not be treated seriously enough under reforms proposed by Labor’s then Emergency Services Minister Tony Piccolo.

 

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