Have you seen the Govt budget hoax being played on NSW firefighters?


Overtime blow out a sham

The idiotic KPI pressure gauges on the Department’s intranet site are a good metaphor for the silliness afflicting FRNSW generally these days. The annual overtime budget for 2012/13 is facing huge overruns not because of increased staff absences (the opposite applies) or even increased operations, but because it was set so pathetically low at $10M that it was never going to be met. Compare it with previous years:

Financial Year

Perm & Retd total spend

Overtime spend

Overtime as % of total


$167.9 M

$17.7 M

10.5 %


$173.6 M

$18.1 M

10.4 %


$181.9 M

$19.5 M

10.7 %


$196.3 M

$20.9 M

11.0 %


$209.3 M

$20.1 M

10.0 %


$222.6 M

$20.1 M

9.0 %


$240.3 M

$21.8 M

9.1 %


$258.6 M

$19.0 M

7.3 %


$271.6 M

$21.3 M

7.8 %


$290.5 M

$19.8 M

6.8 %


$307.5 M

$17.1 M

5.5 %


$316.3 M

$24.0 M

7.5 %


$323.2 M

$25.0 M

7.7 %


$324.6 M (estimate)

$10.0 M (budgeted)

3.1 %

Since 2000, the annual spend on firefighter overtime has averaged 8.7% of total firefighter wages, so both the 5 and 10 year trends were falling, not climbing. The inevitable and self-imposed “overtime blow out” in 2012/13 is simply a contrived prop with which the Minister and the Department are now using to beat and blame firefighters in order to justify their irresponsible budget cuts.

SITREP 3/2013 | FBEU.

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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