‘Bull----!’ Gympie region reacts to Blue Card furore
THOUSANDS of volunteer firefighters will be banned from battling blazes for failing to get Blue Cards under a new rule that classifies them as health workers.
As Queensland and NSW grapple with an unprecedented early fire season, there have been mixed responses on The Gympie Times Facebook site, with many calling it bulls--- and others backing the legislation on safety merits.
"When people in suits make rules for those that actually work. This is an absolute joke. I don't care who you are or what you've done, if you want to save my property when fire is about go for it," Fran Lee said.
"Pathetic, who's the bright one that suggested that? Hopefully all of the volunteers will tell you to get stuffed but perhaps you could find your crew on the volunteer brigade and the people that are doing volunteering now can relax and enjoy life," Bert Fallon said.
Rural firefighters will have until March 31.
"When I joined the SES, a police check was a requirement of entry. I guess the Blue Card application gives the authorities a continuing permission to check on people. The Blue Card application is free. I put mine in a couple of weeks ago," Martin Essenberg said.
"Took me six months to be accepted into the Rural Fire Service because of the "thorough police checks". I have no problem with applying for the blue card now, which I have done, but you would think the original checks ought to cover it? I've been waiting four months for the blue card, so far. Still no word," Ron Hall said.
"Sadly society has lost it's innocence. Caring and sharing for the community has become such a paper trail of legalities now and it's just another hurdle some bureaucrat has dreamt up and will only impede the willingly "honest folk" trying to assist their communities," Gary Cochrane said.
"Never heard so much rubbish. These people are putting their lives at risk to save everyone," Kathy Barry said.
Queensland Rural Fire Brigades Association said under child safety legislation those without a blue card would face a fine of 50 penalty units equalling $6600.