A federal scheme to compensate volunteer firefighters in some states should be extended nationally and should include volunteer members of the State Emergency Services says the SES Volunteers Association.
It was announced on Friday Tasmanian firefighters who are self-employed or who work in a small or medium business would be eligible for financial assistance of $300 a day if deployed to respond to bushfires for more than 10 days.
The SES Volunteers Association said it believed all volunteers should be reimbursed when they lose income, or for out of pocket expenses, in extended response to emergency events, whether it be for fire support, flood, storm, tsunami or earthquake.
The association said, while the current scheme for their volunteers was a good start, they should be eligible after five days service in the past 12 months.
"The current limit of 20 days compensation is less than what some members are contributing [and] members working for any organisation should be eligible, not just those in small business," the association said.
"The current compensation limit of $300 per day is reasonable but needs to keep pace with inflation."
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SES Volunteers Association Tasmania president Chris Draffin said offering only firefighters compensation was not equitable.
"If you are going to do this you have to do it fairly and that includes looking at other services beyond just firefighting," Mr Draffin said.
"Certainly in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and SA, the SES volunteers have not been included in that [compensation] scheme yet they may be every bit as much engaged in providing services to deal with that emergency."
"We are very much engaged with the fires in Tasmania and have been providing support roles in those efforts. By us filling in some of these roles it does free up firefighters to go interstate, for example.
"It's all well and good for volunteers to put in that effort and not expect to be paid, that's fine [and] we expect that, but it's not fair if there is a loss involved because they are committed to whatever the emergency is if they are not being paid by their workplace or losing some other way because of costs."
Mr Draffin said the association was also hoping to stimulate a debate beyond the immediate bushfire emergency to look introduce a national volunteering scheme.
"The way volunteering has been done in the 19th and 20th century has changed and it needs to be brought up to date," he said.
"There's different models that can applied rather than just payments [for example] a tax compensation scheme.
"It is signalling that we really need to have a look at the bigger picture."
A government spokesperson said the state was currently working with the Commonwealth government to work out the finer details of the program, which will be active in Tasmania by the end of January.
Labor leader Rebecca White said the association's request deserved consideration by the government.
"They, just like everybody else, are giving up their time. They are volunteering, they are providing an essential community service, particularly during an emergency and the government should consider also paying them," Ms White said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor also supported compensating volunteers to cover their costs.
"Let's remember this country is burning [and] in the absence of a hugely well-resourced professional firefighting team we are heavily dependent on volunteer firefighters and the SES," Ms O'Connor said.