The National Parks Vocational Branch (NPVB) had its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 15 November. This was a voting AGM held every two years to elect delegates for the NPVB Executive. The results of the ballot are as follows:
Ben Owers Chairperson
Peter Mylan Vice Chair
Janet Cavanaugh Secretary
Alex Deura Treasurer
Naomi Goosen Women’s Contact Officer
Andrew Leach Park Programs Representative
Steve (Stumpy) Carter Field Officer Representative
Four delegate members
Danny Corcoran; Martin Smith; Angela Lewis and Phuong Le
The PSA congratulates and welcomes all members who have been elected as delegates for 2023. It also wishes to thank the 2022 delegates for all the hard work that they’ve performed over the past 12 months.
Other issues discussed at the AGM are listed below:
With the recent spate of floods; landslips and pestilence outbreaks members have become concerned with the inconsistent declaration of incidents across the state. The PSA is concerned with the health and safety of its members at such incidents where members cannot be protected by incident conditions being applied as stated in the award. This ongoing issue has been discussed with the department who have been intractable on the matter. Hence a dispute notification is currently being prepared by the PSA which will shortly be lodged in the IRC. You will be kept informed of the outcome.
Pay rise campaign
The PSA wishes to acknowledge the great participation from members and delegates in relation to the pay rise campaign. The campaign united members and increased membership of the PSA. Members received the maximum ‘permissible’ payrise of 2.5%. This cap has been legislated by the State Government. Hence the IRC cannot endorse any payrise greater than 2.5%. If you want to change this we need to change the Government !
To date there’s been scant consultation or detail provided in relation to the 250 new roles. Irrespective the PSA has been lobbying senior management of NPWS for the best outcome for our members. A meeting is being convened Friday morning 18 November to further discuss the new roles. We live in hope !
Wild horse control program recruitment
After continued advocacy by the PSA the NPWS has not only decided to recruit all ongoing roles for this program but to further increase the number of roles to 11.5. This is fantastic news for our members involved in the wild horse control program in Kosciuszko National Park.
The NPWS is proceeding with its proposal for all firefighters to be fire fit to the moderate level if they wish to continue working for the NPWS. This is in spite of the PSA advocating that members can do a range of tasks at fires that would not necessarily require them to be fire fit to the moderate level. The PSA will continue to negotiate on this matter with the NPWS.
Whilst the PSA acknowledges that the influx of significant levels of funding into NPWS over the past few years has been very welcome workloads have increased significantly. This increase is being delivered to our members via the Senior Executive. The expectations of the executive need to be better considered to relieve the fatigue and stress being experienced by many members currently dealing with unrealistic workloads. The PSA will continue to advocate on behalf of members to reduce their workloads.
Good news is that the new uniforms are finally being rolled out ! Unfortunately not at the speed that the hard working URG would like to see. This is due to supply chain disruptions which is something out of their hands. The PSA would like to acknowledge the significant effort of its members on the URG. This is a thankless task and not everyone will be completely satisfied. However there has been plenty of positive feedback and you’re asked to continue delivering any feedback to members of the committee. Special thanks must go to Dave Pemberton; Danny Corcoran and Martin Smith for their huge effort on the URG and in getting the job done.
After much advocacy by the PSA and its delegates training courses are being rolled out. Here are some statistics for you to digest:
- Dealing with Threatening and Aggressive Behaviour – 427 staff completed course
- Law Enforcement level 1 – 305 staff completed course
- Law Enforcement level 2 – 16 staff completed course.
Also to note is that this training is being rolled out as part of the Gilligan Reports findings and recommendations. Further to this a statewide database is funded and in development. PSA delegate Martin Smith will be the new PSA representative on the Law Enforcement Reference Group.
Fire working group
The fire working group has been disbanded along with FMAC. The JCC is now the forum in which to raise fire issues. In spite of the continued advocacy of the PSA fire will not be a standing issue on the JCC meeting agenda.