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Firies warn of cutbacks ahead of hearing

Date
July 30, 2012 – 8:39AM
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AAP

Firefighters will face the NSW government in the Industrial Relations Commission over proposed budget cuts.

Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) NSW secretary Jim Casey says up to eight stations in Sydney are likely to be temporarily shut down in the year ahead, as staff regularly fill gaps at other stations.

“These cuts are going to go extremely deep. No one’s safe,” Mr Casey told ABC Radio on Monday.

He says the government wants to backfill country stations with casual firefighters.

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“The issue in the country is going to be the response times blowing out,” he said.

The union says the state government is planning to find $70 million in savings in Fire and Rescue NSW’s budget.

Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher says firefighters’ overtime was $7 million over budget last year.

FBEU NSW president Darin Sullivan says the union is prepared to fight the cuts with industrial action.

The case before Justice Frances Backman begins on Monday at 9.30am (AEST).

© 2012 AAP
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About Darin Sullivan (1968 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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