The peak body for WA’s largest emergency service says it is disappointed by the McGowan government’s decision to halve the annual amount of the emergency services volunteer fuel card but understands the need for financial restraint at this time.
AVBFB President Dave Gossage said it isn’t ideal given the way volunteer numbers have been falling in recent years.
“We appreciate the financial challenges the McGowan government has inherited, but of course it’s disappointing,” Mr Gossage said.
“The Association worked extremely hard to warn the last government and commissioner of falling morale and the need to better recognise and support the volunteers who keep our state safe.”
“While the $2,000 per annum Volunteer Fuel Card scheme introduced by the last government wasn’t perfect, we welcomed it because it recognised some of the out-of-pocket expenses many volunteers incur while providing their invaluable service to our community.”
“It’s therefore difficult to be happy about a decision to halve the recognition of our amazing volunteers, but given the current financial situation, it would be irresponsible to fight it.”
“On the up side, the Minister’s media statement seems to indicate that there will be some flexibility in the way the remaining funding can be used, which would be a very welcome improvement.”
“Like so much of what we said to the last government, our requests to allow Brigades to choose to spend the money on something other than fuel fell on deaf ears.”
“So, while we are disappointed the funding has reduced, we are thankful that Minister Logan has listened to our calls to make the funding more flexible and practical,” Mr Gossage said.