A federal scheme to compensate volunteer firefighters for income lost should be extended to cover the State Emergency Service, the organisation says.
A federal scheme to compensate volunteer firefighters for income lost should be extended to cover the State Emergency Service, the organisation says.

Call to extend payments to SES volunteers

STATE Emergency Service volunteers have called for a scheme to compensate firefighters to be extended to all emergency service personnel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a deal to provide volunteer firefighters with financial support for loss of income if they have been called out for extended periods of service.

The payments will provide for lost income of up to $300 per day but is capped at $6000 per person. The financial support is not means tested and is tax-free.

The National SES Volunteers Association covers more than 30,000 SES Volunteers across Australia.

Association president Gordon Hall said SES volunteers should be reimbursed where they lose income, or for out of pocket expenses, in extended response to emergency events, whether it be for fire support, flood, storm, tsunami or earthquake.

"This fire season SES volunteers have been working for extended periods around the country supporting firefighting operations, taking members away from work, family and other commitments," he said.

"Like fire volunteers, SES members in the workforce forgo income to serve and protect the community.

"When this happens for extended periods, it becomes a burden on them, their families and employers.

"There needs to be equity for all emergency response personnel, including the SES Volunteers across the country."

Mr Hall said SES members should be compensated if they serve more than five days in each 12 month period, with amounts increased to keep pace with inflation.

Tasmania has about 400 active SES volunteers in 29 units across the state.

In recent years they have turned out to assist in incidents including bushfires, floods and major storm events.


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