It is a legislative requirement unique to Western Australia’s Bush Fires Act 1954 that Local Governments manage volunteer Bush Fire Brigades. One hundred and eleven Western Australian Local Governments, of varying size and capacity, manage 563 Bush Fire Brigades, totalling more than 20,000 volunteers.

Find A Volunteer Service | DFES
Volunteer Opportunities | DFES

Work Health and Safety Resources

The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) was given Royal Assent in November 2020. The WHS Act was initially scheduled to commence on 1 January 2022, commencement of the legislation was delayed until March 2022 following advocacy from WALGA and other stakeholders to allow a longer transition period.  Although many of the requirements under the WHS Act exist in the current Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, there are a number of aspects of the WHS Act, particularly as they relate to Local Government’s responsibilities for volunteer Bush Fire Brigades, that require further consideration by the sector and volunteers. Please see WALGA's InfoPage to Local Government CEO's here for more information. 

For Local Government resources, please visit the LGIS website For General Resources, please visit the WorkSafe website.
Subscribe to the WorkSafe news alert for news and updates about workplace health and safety in Western Australia. 

Webinar: WHS Info Session for Local Governments managing Bush Fire Brigades

On Wednesday, 9 February 2022, WALGA and LGIS hosted a webinar to update Local Governments about the new Work Health and Safety legislation and the implications for the management of Bush Fire Brigade volunteers, and to introduce Local Governments to the functionality of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ (DFES) Volunteer Hub. Presentations covered the changes resulting from the new Work Health and Safety Act 2020, ways to reduce the level of risk and meet your legislative obligations, and DFES’s Volunteer Hub.
  • The webinar presentations are available here
  • The recording of DFES's Volunteer Hub walk-through is available here.
  • The Q&A Summary to address the questions raised at the webinar is available here

Webinar: WHS Legislation and Local Government Bush Fire Brigades

On Tuesday, 31 August 2021, WALGA and LGIS hosted a webinar to inform Local Governments about the new WHS Act and the implications for the management of Bush Fire Brigade volunteers. Presentations covered the changes resulting from the new WHS Act, ways to reduce the level of risk and meet your legislative obligations, as well as a Local Government best practice case study and update from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services on their training program.

  • The webinar presentations are available here
  • The webinar recording is available here

Training

Bushfire Training Products and Becoming a Training Assessor

WALGA has been advised by DFES about some new Bushfire Training Products and information about how Local Government officers can become qualified DFES trainer assessors to deliver training locally. For more information, please read WALGA's Bushfire Training For Local Governments InfoPage.

In the first instance, any requests for training should be sent through to a DFES regional office. If a Local Government is facing barriers accessing training for their Brigades, please advise WALGA and we will see if we can assist via em@walga.asn.au.

DFES Bushfire Centre of Excellence Training Catalogue
DFES Bushfire Centre of Excellence 2022 Training Calendar

For further information, contact the Bushfire Centre of Excellence or a DFES regional office.

Guidelines for Operatiing Private Equipment at Fires
The DFES Bushfire Centre of Excellence has released updated Guidelines for Operating Private Equipment to support operators to understand their responsibilities, and the associated risks, when responding to a bushfire. 
 

COVID-19 Vaccinations

WALGA and DFES provided a joint communique to the sector on Tuesday, 14 December 2021 on COVID-19 vaccination requirements and options to provide proof of vaccination status for Bush Fire Brigade volunteers.

DFES and WALGA Joint Communique - COVID-19 Directions and Collection of Vaccination Status
Attachment 1 - FAQ for Volunteers
Attachment 2 - Options to Update your Vaccination Status
 

Read the latest WALGA COVID-19 Sector updates here