SES numbers have dropped in the Mackay region.
SES numbers have dropped in the Mackay region.

Concerning drop in number of vital volunteer numbers

A SHOCKING drop in SES volunteers has raised questions about the support provided to the organisation.

In the past months alone, 22 volunteers were taken off the books.

This leaves just 144 volunteers in Mackay, a "dangerous" number according to Councillor Justin Englert.

The former Mackay SES local controller queried what had caused the significant drop, saying it was concerning going into storm season.

"We did have questions about the effect the blue card requirement would have on our SES volunteer numbers," he said.

"We did estimate about 30 per cent of volunteers would be lost, but I don't believe that was the cause of the recent drop.

"Volunteers still have until March before blue cards are mandatory."

 

Generic pic of SES volunteers working at a site that has been affected by storm damage.
Generic pic of SES volunteers working at a site that has been affected by storm damage.

 

Cr Englert requested council to refer data to the SES strategic advisory committee so volunteer numbers could be assessed.

He said it was important council and QFES were providing adequate support to volunteers and investigating what could be done to recruit new members.

Firefighters fear they will face dwindling numbers too, since the State Government mandated in October that all Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff and volunteers, excluding Primary Producer Brigades and Fire Wardens, gain the working with children checks by December 1.



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