Volunteering Queensland provided a submission to an inquiry by the state Parliament’s Community Safety and Legal Affairs Committee into the Disaster Management and other legislation Amendment Bill, which relates mostly to the firefighting aspect of natural disasters. Our submission focused on promoting the necessity for the rights, experience and views of volunteer firefighters to be protected and respected.

While Volunteering Queensland has direct engagement with bringing in volunteers to help with natural disasters when requested via our management of EV CREW (Emergency Volunteering Community Response to Extreme Weather), we do not seek to speak for those who are involved directly in on the ground firefighting, which is a specialist and often dangerous activity. Both paid and volunteer firefighters have organisations that represent them directly.

Volunteering Queensland’s role is to uphold and promote the core principles of supporting and respecting volunteers and volunteering.  Rural Fire Brigades are supported by over 26,500 volunteers in 1,394 locations across the state. As with every other area of volunteering, if those volunteers are not properly supported, respected and listened to, those numbers will inevitably decline.

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