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Victoria Needs A Volunteer Remote Area Firefighting Team

Do you live in an urban area of Victoria? Love Victoria’s wild places, and want to help protect them from worsening bushfires? This one’s for you. 

Climate change is supercharging our bushfire seasons. Victoria’s latest Climate Science Report predicts that the annual number of high fire danger days in Victoria will increase by over 60% by the 2050s. These climate-fueled bushfires threaten Victorian lives, health, industry, First Nations cultural heritage and biodiversity on an unprecedented scale.

Longer, more intense bushfire seasons are placing huge burdens on Victoria’s firefighters. The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has lost nearly 2,000 volunteers since the Black Summer bushfires, and many rural CFA brigades are ageing as young people move to urban areas for work and study. Additionally, as climate change causes bushfire seasons around the world to overlap, we will not be able to draw on external firefighting support as we have in the past for ‘surge capacity’ needed during large bushfires.

It is clear that to tackle the climate-fuelled bushfire seasons of the 21st century, Victoria needs to strengthen its firefighting capacity by unlocking new sources of volunteers within the state.

We call on the Victorian government to create a volunteer remote area firefighting team (RAFT) that Victorians living in urban areas, like you, could join. 

Allowing urban Victorians to be trained and deployed as firefighters at times of urgent need would be a smart response to the reality of longer, more intense bushfire seasons. It would:

  • Be an innovative way of strengthening firefighting capacity that would bring a younger, greater diversity of people into the CFA.
  • Allow urban-based people who love wild places to play a practical role in protecting them from bushfires.
  • Increase firefighting capacity at a low cost to the state.
  • Contain fires before they destroy huge areas of biodiversity-rich bush. In bad fire seasons we often have to prioritise firefighting efforts to protect private property before public land, and a team dedicated to remote areas would help ensure that the places we love can be protected.  
  • Provide backup for Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) remote area teams (which should also continue to be expanded)
  • Catch Victoria up with other states that have Remote Area Firefighting Teams (NSW, Tasmania, ACT and QLD).
  • Lessen the burden on existing fire brigades over summer. All Victorians benefit from volunteer firefighting, but the burden is not shared between urban and regional people.

 

The Victorian government’s new ten-year Bushfire Management Strategy states that the goal of increasing firefighter capacity is fundamental and will be a key aspect of its approach. With the strategy in draft form, we have an opportunity to get this good idea on the table and make it a reality.

To make our case, we need to demonstrate that there are lots of urban-based people who would sign up to be part of a Victorian RAFT, if it existed.

Add Your Name: I’d sign up to join a remote area firefighting team for Victoria.

 

*Note: by adding your name, you are not committing yourself to anything mandatory in advance. This pledge is for us to demonstrate the level of interest in the idea and for you to receive campaign updates.

Who's signing
Jean Le Quesne
Vivien Smith
Sue Bendel
John & Shirley Gunson
Alan/Joan Hewett/Jones
Joseph Philippa
Fran Smitherman
Karen Furniss
Tash Hughes
Brian Miller
Amelia Kuveke
Beth Charleston
Elaine Phillips
Julia Blunden
Euan Thomas
Rory McDermott
Marine Weber
Terry Butterworth
Don Hutton
Cheryl Kaulfuss
Di Meile
Gaetan Craig-Riou
Rosemarie Engl
Sue Mann
Marguerite Marshall
Frankie Seymour
Stuart Chugg
Rhonda Green
Amy Thomas
Joanne Ford

500 Pledges

134 Pledges

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Showing reactions

  • Jean Le Quesne
    signed 2023-12-03 13:43:48 +1100
  • Vivien Smith
    signed 2023-12-02 21:49:04 +1100
  • Sue Bendel
    signed 2023-12-02 13:40:02 +1100
  • John & Shirley Gunson
    signed 2023-12-02 12:38:56 +1100
  • Alan/Joan Hewett/Jones
    signed 2023-12-02 10:47:36 +1100
  • Joseph Philippa
    signed 2023-12-02 09:49:25 +1100
  • Fran Smitherman
    signed 2023-12-02 01:30:17 +1100
  • Karen Furniss
    signed 2023-12-01 22:43:16 +1100
  • Tash Hughes
    signed 2023-12-01 17:29:00 +1100
  • Brian Miller
    signed 2023-12-01 16:06:09 +1100
  • Amelia Kuveke
    signed 2023-12-01 15:49:02 +1100
  • Beth Charleston
    signed 2023-12-01 15:22:40 +1100
  • Elaine Phillips
    signed 2023-12-01 15:21:35 +1100
  • Julia Blunden
    signed 2023-12-01 15:07:50 +1100
  • Euan Thomas
    signed 2023-12-01 14:24:10 +1100
  • Rory McDermott
    signed 2023-12-01 14:23:01 +1100
  • Marine Weber
    signed 2023-12-01 14:18:03 +1100
  • Terry Butterworth
    signed 2023-12-01 14:17:54 +1100
  • Don Hutton
    signed 2023-12-01 13:30:20 +1100
  • Cheryl Kaulfuss
    signed 2023-12-01 12:57:36 +1100
  • Di Meile
    signed 2023-12-01 12:49:25 +1100
  • Gaetan Craig-Riou
    signed 2023-12-01 12:43:27 +1100
  • Rosemarie Engl
    signed 2023-12-01 12:12:23 +1100
  • Sue Mann
    signed 2023-12-01 12:03:50 +1100
  • Marguerite Marshall
    signed 2023-12-01 11:21:26 +1100
  • Frankie Seymour
    signed 2023-12-01 11:03:03 +1100
  • Stuart Chugg
    signed 2023-12-01 11:00:17 +1100
  • Rhonda Green
    signed 2023-12-01 10:57:39 +1100
  • Amy Thomas
    signed 2023-12-01 10:13:40 +1100
  • Joanne Ford
    signed 2023-12-01 10:01:35 +1100