Published on Jan 8, 2020

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The Federal Government announced to provide financial support of up to $6,000 for volunteer firefighters on the fire front this bushfire season.

The payments of up to $300 per day will be available to Rural Fire Service NSW volunteers who are self-employed or work for small to medium businesses and have volunteered as part of an operational response to bushfires for more than 10 days since July 1 2019. They will be capped at $6000 per person and are tax–free.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the payments would be equivalent to 20 days of emergency leave for the eligible volunteers.

This follows the government’s announcement that Commonwealth public service volunteers would get at least four weeks of paid leave to fight bushfires under a plan to ensure more ‘boots on the ground’.

This announcement provides employees of small and medium sized businesses and self-employed volunteers with the same level of support.

It is expected that larger companies will follow this lead and provide their employees with 20 days of emergency services leave.

The Federal Government would cover the payments, which would be administered through the NSW Government.

Other state and territory governments have been encouraged to enter into a similar agreement to support volunteers for their efforts.

If you would like to register or check your eligibility for a financial support payment, you can do so online at Service NSW

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