Volunteer firefighter payments available

Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle has encouraged local firefighters to apply for compensation through the recently available Volunteer Firefighter Payment Scheme.

"Compensation is now available volunteer firefighters who have lost income while battling blazes across NSW, and I encourage every local firey who is out of pocket as a consequence of the bushfires to apply," said Ms Doyle.

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman (left) and State Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle (centre) with members of Woodford Rural Fire Service.

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman (left) and State Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle (centre) with members of Woodford Rural Fire Service.

"Firefighters have been so heavily relied on and called upon in our community over recent months, and we need them to recover financially, as well as emotionally and physically."

The volunteer firefighter payment was announced in late December after public pressure. Firefighters have only been able to apply for financial support since mid-January.

Ms Doyle said while she is pleased the financial recovery for RFS and SES volunteers can commence, the compensation scheme hasn't met her expectations.

"This scheme needed to be rolled out a month earlier than it was, the eligibility criteria and the paperwork are unnecessarily complicated, the SES were excluded until recently, and the cap of $6000 is ridiculous - it is the equivalent of about 20 days fighting fires that have been burning since September," she said.

Ms Doyle has suggested that any firefighter who isn't eligible and is out of pocket should get into contact with her office so she can make representations to the minister.

Volunteer firefighters can access more information and the application at: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-volunteer-firefighter-payment

If you have any issues or questions regarding the scheme, get in touch with Trish Doyle: bluemountains@parliament.nsw.gov.au or 4751 3298