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Cuts to essential services- economic v moral imperative

Health, law, ethics and human rights

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In January, in Australia, the emergency services are typically working hard planning and preparing to prevent and protect us from harm, but Barry O’Farrell and his NSW liberal government have been hard at work slashing budgets despite his government being in surplus .

Those cuts have impacted on all public services including the emergency services – ambos, police and firies. There have been no new classes through the Goulburn Police Academy for the past six months, demand for paramedic services has been increasing by 4% per annum but there has been no increase in staffing levels to match it and Fire & Rescue have to find $7.6M in employee-related savings in 2012/13 and rising to a massive $64M cumulatively over the next 4 years.

That means less staffing -either temporarily or permanently – which means less services and ironically, a reduction in economic growth. We know, for example, that making

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About Darin Sullivan (1969 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am 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. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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