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WA firefighting equipment lacking: parliamentary report | #FIRE

WA firefighting equipment lacking: parliamentary report | The Australian.

WA firefighters are battling dud radios, a lack of basic equipment and budget cuts, despite a succession of devastating bushfires in the past three years, a parliamentary committee has concluded.

Toodyay in 2009, the Perth Hills in 2010 and Margaret River last year suffered huge property losses after devastating fires swept through an increasingly dry and dangerous WA landscape.

And with one volunteer firefighter already having been killed in a fire in Albany last month, committee chairman Tony O’Gorman said despite claims of better preparedness, there were still major flaws in the state’s firefighting capability.

“The government has given extra money to the department (of Fire and Emergency Services) but have then taken a whole heap of that money back,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“We think that actually does affect frontline services.”

Ahead of what is tipped to be another nightmare bushfire season in 2012, the state government has admitted a combination of a heavy fuel load, a dry winter and unhelpful weather threatening could lead to more major bushfires.

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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