12th OCTOBER MEETING SUMMARY
Not happy with the Governments position on PTSD Presumptive Legislation
A letter from the five Volunteer Prescribed Emergency Service Associations jointly expressing profound disappointment with the PTSD Presumptive Legislation has been sent to Minister Stephen Dawson MLA, Commissioner Klemm, Shadow Minister, Martin Aldridge MLA and Premier Roger Cook. The letter will be reproduced in the SESVA Newsletter – November edition. The Association has raised matters related to PTSD with DFES Executive and has gone to DFES Legal, but no response received to date.
Operational Efficiency Payments (OEP) review – information required
Secretary has attended OEP working party meetings with DFES which he believes will deliver good outcomes for SES, whereas it is likely to be more difficult for fire agencies. The name of the payment system may be changed to Valued Service Payment to reflect its purpose more accurately. SES Units can help to improve the current system by letting their regional representative or the VA Secretary know what they have been spending their OEP funds on.
WA Emergency Management Training Centre
Many SES volunteers have no awareness of the new training centre proposal. The VA remains uncertain as to whether the new centre would influence better training outcomes for SES, in that a new location is unlikely to impact training delivery.
Loss of Training Qualifications without Notification
Many SES Volunteers are losing accreditation outside of their normal core skills which are being taken off the list without being advised or addressed. There is no opportunity or process for Volunteers to retain their qualifications. The Committee resolved to adopt a policy for DFES to reinstate all qualifications that have been removed in the last 12 months, pending a review of the process, and that Volunteers’ retention of training qualifications be on par with career staff.
Training Advisory Groups (VTAG & ATAG – SES) membership – endorsement
The Committee endorsed Robbie Palmer to represent the VA on the Associations Training Advisory Group – SES (ATAG-SES). The Committee also endorsed Alan Hawke and Les Hayter to represent to VA on the Volunteer Training Advisory Group (VTAG).
Removal of Q-Mac HF Radios from Service
The Circular 62/2023 issued on the previous Monday was discussed. The Committee resolved to raise the issue of discontinuation of Q-Mac HF Radios without a replacement plan with Deputy Commissioner Waters, pointing out he has been ill advised and this has the potential to negatively impact the operational capability of DFES.
Cold Climate Options – South Regions (endorsed November 2022)
Until DFES formalise a quality control standard of materials and manufacture for cold weather garments and sign a supply contract, the VA considers the matter is not concluded. It was pointed out that some Unit-issue cold weather gear is required for use by units outside the Great Southern which go to assist in cold conditions. The Committee resolved to keep the subject active and develop a strategy for satisfactory resolution.
The VA will continue to pursue buses for SES units and request a meeting seeking a status update on all fleet related projects.
The matter will again be raised at first meeting with Chief Supt in November, as to why no feedback has been provided.
Recent meetings indicate there were possible future improvements but would reserve judgement at this point. SESVA Executive needed to pursue with formal correspondence, starting from the training issues and working group recommendations stemming from the 2018 Duxton Forum.
Ongoing Career Development
Formally requested this item be put on next Volunteer Advisory Committee agenda.
VA to meet with DFES WOW media liaison in early November and also investigate applying from Grant from Volunteering WA.
National Awards & Recognition
WA only represents 7% of total awards on a national level and falling below 10% quota. More people need to be nominated to reach the 10% level. VA to provide people with tools or more substantive information to assist them to make award nominations. DOs should assist with Awards nominations.
As a first step in reviewing the SESVA constitution, a small group is undertaking an initial review to ensure it meets with the Model Rules. Feedback and suggestions will then be sought from Volunteers.
SESVA Strategic Planning Session
The Executive were to hold a strategic planning session in mid-November. This will now be deferred until early 2024.
WAFES Awards and Gala Dinner – feedback sought
There are a limited number of seats for the Gala Dinner and there is a limit of two persons per SES Unit. The Association could assist in clarifying what the requirements are by helping to make the instructions for registering clearer and publicise this across VA media platforms. Also, that the VA Executive request DFES issue invitations to WAFES conference to each Volunteer Association management committee member, as they do with the SESVAC.
Please give your feedback on the WAFES Conference and the Awards and Gala Dinner to your regional representative or Secretary Allen Gale
The next Meeting of the VA Committee is scheduled for Thursday 7 December 2023