Chief Minister Andrew Barr says there is a case for volunteer firefighters to be able to access compensation on a permanent basis, as he declared the "business as usual" approach to dealing with emergencies "cannot continue".
Mr Barr said the idea would "have to be considered" when state and territory leaders meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in March to discuss strategies to tackle bushfire emergencies.
On Wednesday, the ACT become the latest jurisdiction to be added to the federal government's new payment scheme for volunteer firefighters.
Under the scheme, tax-free payments of up to $300 per day - to a maximum of $6000 - will be made available to volunteers who are self-employed or work for small to medium private businesses, and have lost income while battling blazes raging across the country.
The payment is only applicable to those who have volunteered for more than 10 days this financial year.
The scheme is only in place for the 2019-20 financial year, and Mr Morrison has cautioned against it being seen as a precursor to permanent payments for volunteer firefighters.
"This is not about paying volunteers. It is about sustaining our volunteer efforts by protecting them from financial loss," Mr Morrison has said.
But on Thursday, Mr Barr said exploring some form of ongoing compensation scheme for volunteer firefighters would have to be considered at March's COAG leaders meeting.
"We need to look at our volunteer capacity, and the extent that we are going to have a longer bushfire season - we are already seeing that in the ACT," Mr Barr said. "The evidence is lending itself towards that [having a permanent compensation scheme]."
Mr Barr said different options to the existing payment scheme should be looked at.
"We wouldn't want to limit ourselves to the model that we currently have. I think COAG would need to look at this holistically in light of all of the resources that we are going to need for future fire seasons.
"If there is one thing that is clear out of this experience, it is that business as usual for Commonwealth and state relationships on emergency management cannot continue.
"We are going to have to change the way we respond."
Mr Morrison first announced the scheme for NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers in late December. The South Australian and Queensland governments have also struck a deal with the federal government to have their volunteer firefighters compensated for lost income.