Fire Brigade Workplace Bullying To Be Extinguished

Fire Brigade Workplace Bullying To Be Extinguished

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman

Fire Service Culture Must Change

Victor P Taffa

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) will undergo “systemic change” after an independent review was damning of the organisation’s handling of sexual harassment and workplace bullying incidents.

Premier Campbell Newman said the independent review by former Public Service Commissioner Margaret Allison found the service’s response to the complaints failed on every level and was uncoordinated, needlessly protracted and unnecessarily traumatising.

 

 

 

 

The report further finds the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ culture is at worst actively and overtly hostile to women, and at best uncomfortable and awkward.

“Let us be clear: this report is damning of the Services’ culture and its failure to establish and nurture a workplace that accepts and respects women.” the Premier said.

“It is unacceptable, and there will be systemic change to fix this. This is about making the changes needed to ensure we have a workplace that reflects the values and attitudes of our times.”

“I thank Ms. Allison for the comprehensive work that’s gone into this important report. I also thank all those who have co-operated with her Inquiry.”

“I want to acknowledge the three complainants whose concerns led to my appointing Ms Allison to assess the departmental response to their situation.” the Premier said.

Ms. Allison’s recommendations will now be carefully considered and the Government’s response made public in the next few months.

Crown Law advice will be sought about relevant aspects of the report.

The Premier announced the Fire Commissioner Lee Johnson, who had planned to retire mid-2015, has agreed to retire immediately to allow a new Commissioner to lead the long term renewal of the service.

Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Katarina Carroll has been appointed acting QFES Commissioner.