NSW Supports Emergency Flood Volunteers
9 December 2010 at 1:49 pm
The New South Wales Premier, Kristina Keneally, has moved to guarantee job security for volunteers working with emergency services on the state's worsening floods.
Premier Keneally received a briefing from the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) on worsening weather and flood predictions to ensure all available resources are in place to help affected communities.
Keneally announced the NSW Government will immediately invoke employment protection provisions – under Part 3A of the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 – for all volunteer organisations involved in the operations.
These provisions are designed to protect volunteer emergency service workers who take leave from their employment to assist in an emergency from being victimised by their employers.
The provisions will apply to emergency response and recovery operations occurring state-wide as a result of the floods and will remain in force until revoked.
The NSW Government has extended the Natural Disaster declaration to include 22 regions in NSW with approximately 500 State Emergency Service volunteers currently in the field.
The Premier says the SES, NSW Police Force, NSW Fire Brigades, Rural Fire Service and Ambulance Service are working around the clock to help people in the path of these floods.
She particularly directed her thanks to the State's welfare partners, Red Cross, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, ADRA and Anglicare, whose volunteers are providing essential support services, especially to evacuated residents.