Volunteer firefighters support longer agreement between City of Wanneroo and DFES


Volunteer firefighters turned out in force to support a longer memorandum of understanding between DFES and the City of Wanneroo.
Volunteer firefighters turned out in force to support a longer memorandum of understanding between DFES and the City of Wanneroo.

VOLUNTEER firefighters made up more than half of the audience in the Wanneroo Council chambers during recent meetings.

The volunteers attended the June 19 briefing session and June 26 council meeting for a report on the City’s memorandum of understanding with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

At the briefing session, volunteers asked the council to consider having a three-year MoU rather than the 12-month one recommended in the report.

They said the best candidate for the chief bush fire control officer might not be found if the agreement lasted for only 12 months.

Volunteers also asked to see results of an independent review the City commissioned into a peat fire earlier this year.

Community and place director Debbie Terelinck said the City would need to consider the findings in more detail before it could release that review publicly.

Councillor Dot Newton successfully moved an amendment to set the MoU term for at least three years at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The council also agreed to ask DFES for a three-month extension to the current MoU, which is due to expire on June 30.

A council report said the existing agreement was “ambiguous” about response and safety, with potential political and reputational risks.

It said it “compromises both employee and volunteer safety and potentially leaves the City exposed in a high risk environment”.