Union claims fire protection ‘political football’
The union covering firefighters is accusing the state government of turning fire protection on the north coast into a ‘political football’.
The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union said the government will be downgrading services in Casino during the busy winter months.
Union spokesman Jim Casey said the key issue is that because of government budget cuts the station’s only fulltime officer won’t be replaced when he takes planned leave.
“I’d encourage local residents, local politicians, local community leaders to raise this with your member of parliament,” he said.
“To raise it on the basis that really fire protection is something that shouldn’t be a political football.
“We shouldn’t have out budget cut.
“The job we do is very important, we’re very proud to do the job we do but we need to be resourced properly to do it, and cutting our budget means we can’t.”
“The O’Farrell government’s cut the budget to Fire and Rescue NSW as they have right across the public sector,” he said.
“We’re finding right across the state this means a dangerous compromise on the provision of fire protection.
“What that means in Casino specifically is we have one fulltime firefighter attached to Casino, the station officer.
“That position has been there for donkey’s years.
“The department is no longer backfilling that position when that staff member goes on leave.”
Topics: fires, unions, regional, casino-2470, port-macquarie-2444, taree-2430, coffs-harbour-2450