The relationship between volunteer firefighters and the Emergency Services Agency has reached an "all-time low", according the organisation representing the ACT's rural fire service brigades.
Volunteer Brigades Association president John-Paul Romano said many of his members felt disrespected and undervalued by their paid counterparts at agency headquarters.
His comments came after The Canberra Times' reports on the agency's "after action review" into the summer bushfire season, which included revelations that volunteers considered walking off the Orroral Valley fireground in disgust at the preferential treatment given to Parks and Conservation Service staff.
"Morale among members, member-to-member, is great," Mr Romano said. "But the morale between the membership and ESA and headquarters is at an all-time low.
"A big part of that is the members feeling disrespected, members not feeling valued."
"If you [take time off to volunteer] and you are not being used [on the fireground] ... you don't feel respected, you don't feel as if you are being looked after or what you are doing is meaningful and that creates a lot of anger and distrust."
The leaked internal review detailed explosive allegations about the Emergency Services Agency's handling of the fire season, the behaviour of Commissioner Georgeina Whelan and the level of discontent with the ACT Rural Fire Service.
Mr Romano said it was through a mix of "luck and skill" that the ACT weathered the fire season without any loss of life or homes.
"But we need to learn, as with every major event, from our mistakes, learn where failures were made and we need to be reactionary in the sense that the bushfire season will soon be upon us again," he said.
Mr Romano said more attention needed to be paid to the mental and physical welfare of volunteers in the future. Volunteers should be afforded the same access to psychological support as their paid counterparts, he said.
The Emergency Services Agency and Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman have refused to comment on the allegations in the review, but have backed the handling of the fire season and thrown their support behind Commissioner Whelan.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Tuesday expressed his "full confidence" in Commissioner Whelan and her agency.
Mr Barr refused to be drawn on the allegations detailed in the report, saying it would not be "particularly useful to provide a running commentary" on the matter.
But he said the ACT's response to the bushfire season was "very effective", as evidence by the fact that no lives or homes were lost.
Opposition emergency services spokeswoman Giulia Jones said the allegations needed to be "appropriately investigated".
Mrs Jones said the ACT Legislative Assembly inquiry into the summer bushfire season, which she is chairing, was "exactly the place to do that".
"There's no doubt that the devastation of the summer bushfires presented enormous difficulties for everyone involved," she said.