FBEU claims fire protection ‘political football’

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.”

Mr Casey said earlier this month it was revealed the Taree station’s only full-time staff member wouldn’t be replaced when he took long service leave.

“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.”

via Union claims fire protection ‘political football’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Topics: fires, unions, regional, casino-2470, port-macquarie-2444, taree-2430, coffs-harbour-2450

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 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 former 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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