SES pay plan slammed
A CALL to pay State Emerg-ency Service workers has been criticised by North Queensland disaster management co-ordinator Bob Robinson as a scheme that would ‘‘ create a monster’’.
The reaction comes in response to a proposal by Townsville City Council’s Community Safety chairman Cr Dale Last to pay members in order to boost volunteer numbers. Cr Last said the SES volunteers could be paid in a set-up similar to the Army Reserve to ensure crews were ready and willing to go in emergency situations.
Mr Robinson said paying one volunteer organisation would only leave others in the dark.
‘‘ If you pay the SES then you’re going to have to pay the Rural Fire Brigade, the coastguard, lifesavers and the million other volunteers that do it ( the job) for nothing,’’ he said. ‘‘ Where do you stop? ‘‘ People involved already will see that the government
If you pay the SES then you’re going to have to pay the Rural Fire Brigade, the coastguard, lifesavers and the million other volunteers that do it for nothing
‘‘ Australians are good at volunteering, they volunteer because of the old Australian saying, ‘ help your mate’,’’ he said.
‘‘ You possibly get the people there then for the wrong reasons . . . looking at it as purely a form of income.
‘‘ The government is better off subsidising those who have to leave work – like the army reserve – in the event of a declared disaster.’’
Mr Robinson said although the recent weather had highlighted a lack of volunteers, the community was selfsufficient enough to deal with smaller problems on its own. ‘‘ We’re missing the fact that the community can look after itself in many ways, for any community to rely on a particular organisation is really pushing the expectations,’’ he said.
Mr Robinson said now was the perfect chance for people to come forward and volunteer their time in the ultimate show of mateship.
‘‘ If they’ve got time and they can more formally put themselves out to assist in their community then they need to look at SES, and rural fieries and give their time to learn the skills of that organisation,’’ he said.