and they find this one a little difficult to put out. They have ruled that the our volunteer fire fighters are not there to "relieve suffering, distress, misfortune or helplessness". Naturally this has consequences in favour of the Tax Office.
It is getting more and more difficult to volunteer for anything. It is no longer a simple matter of rolling up and doing the job. These days you have to train to do the job. There are all sorts of health and safety regulations. You do not just put the rubbish bins out in the place marked rubbish bins. The rubbish has to be sorted into separate bins for recycling and they have to be placed exactly on the marks on the ground. You do not get a quick lesson in how to work the till in the charity store but you need to do a three day course in "customer relations". If you volunteer for tea duty at an event open to the paying public you also have to do a course - oh and pay a hefty sum in public liability insurance.
Now, if you are a volunteer fire fighter or a member of the State Emergency Service you do need to do some training. What these fire-fighting volunteers do is often extremely dangerous. They really do risk their lives for the benefit of other people. I would have thought their whole purpose was to relieve suffering, distress, misfortune or helplessness. They do hours of training every year and they continue to train and do the practice sessions. It is a big commitment.
As the little trailer on our ABC says of the SES, "It's nice to know that the guy at the other end of the rope knows how to tie a knot properly." Well, it is nice to know that the guy at the other end of the hose knows how to use it properly.
It seems pretty clear that nobody in the Tax Office lives in a bushfire prone area.