CODE 2, VOL 36, NO 14 : 05 july 2022


As you will recall, QFES recently conducted a flawed recruitment and selection process that completely disregarded the vital requirement for regional Assistant Commissioners to have professional firefighting qualifications and experience, and the UFUQ lodged a dispute at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) regarding this matter.

You will also recall that the Senior Officers Union (SOU) had been pursuing a similar dispute which they also lodged at the QIRC, and that we had agreed to take on this fight together.

On Tuesday 24 May 2022 and Friday 3 June 2022, the UFUQ and SOU attended a conciliation conference with QFES at the QIRC. However, the dispute could not be settled at conference. QFES rejected the UFUQ and SOU offer to resolve the dispute – they did not agree that regional Assistant Commissioner positions were operational. They believe any Public Servant with a few courses under their belt can have a go at the Assistant Commissioner role.

As a result, the matter is now listed for a hearing to be held on 6 and 7 September 2022.

Considering the position the Commissioner and his Deputies now find themselves in, with every Comms Officer, Firefighter, Station Officer, Senior Officer and most of the Assistant Commissioners against them, one would say that any reasonable thinking person would re-think their strategy on this issue?

After all, they must feel isolated knowing everyone, including some of those in government are now questioning their decision to want a public servant in that role.

Nope, they are now doubling down and QFES appears to be willing to throw whatever amount of money it takes to defend what your union says was an error. They have engaged their own QFES lawyers, state government crown law, and an external law firm (Holding Redlich) and we expect barristers to come next.

I don’t care what organisation you belong to, once you attack every person in the organisation, including your own management team, and then back in the lawyers to get you out of trouble, the culture at the top end of the organisation is wrong.

John Oliver - General Secretary



Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD