Rural Volunteer Firefighters need to be paid

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Volunteer Rural Firefighters have now been fighting fires in NSW & QLD for over 2 months. They are unpaid and putting themselves in financial risk to protect the lives and homes of others. Whilst I understand that a permanent paid Rural Firefighting force might be a prohibitive cost due to the expanse of country that requires covering, it is simply unfair to ask these volunteers to continue fighting fires for such a long period without payment. They also have jobs they are not attending, mortgages, children to feed etc and without an income are really going way beyond the call of duty. Fighting the fires in itself is a highly stressful job. Doing it without any form of payment is just exploitation. My recommendation is that all firefighters actively fighting should receive payment after a predetermined period. My personal thought is after 1 week. We need to get some big numbers on this petition so we can present it to the powers that be. Given this years start to the fire season these firefighters will still be at it for months to come. Lets give them some financial peace of mind while they risk their lives for others.