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Firefighters Delighted With Court Victory

12 October 1999



"The speedy dismissal of all the Fire Service Commission's appeals by the Court of Appeal is a total vindication of the firefighters' stance in opposing the Commission's unlawful actions" said Derek Best, Secretary of the Firefighters' Union.

"It was obvious the appeals had no substance, but this Commission headed by Margaret Bazley rashly continued to spend tens of thousands of dollars of public money in a futile attempt to defend their unlawful actions", said Derek Best.

"The level of incompetence, arrogance and lack of accountability that the previous and present Commission have demonstrated is quite staggering."

"The Commission claimed to be unaware of a long-standing employment contract clause that has always allowed fire prevention work to be done at all times. How the Commission could not have known what was in the employment contract brings into question the competence of both the Commission and management", said Derek Best.

"The Commission perpetuated the myth that firefighters could only carry out fire prevention work for 17½ hours a week. That claim was demonstrated to be untrue," said Derek Best.

"It has been common knowledge that the contract has always provided for fire prevention work to be carried out at all times and this has happened frequently in the past," said Derek Best.

"There must be accountability for this disastrous, wasteful and unlawful activity by a statutory body. However, as seems to be the case with public agencies, no-one is accountable for anything," said Derek Best.

"This whole episode has been incredibly stressful for firefighters and their families. Firefighters will expect an apology from any so-called good employer. Along with a total lack of accountability, firefighters don't expect this either," concluded Derek Best.

For further information contact Derek Best – 025 440 985

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