Gympie MP Tony Perrett has fired up over ‘demoralising and devastating’ cuts to Queensland rural fire services.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett has fired up over ‘demoralising and devastating’ cuts to Queensland rural fire services.

‘Demoralising’: Perrett blasts $7m rural firey budget cut

THE dry smell and pall of smoke has been hovering over Gympie’s horizon in the past month. Fires have been reported from all directions – in the Mary Valley, Oakview and Glenwood.

It’s that time of year. Bushfires are a natural part of our region’s cycle and have been here for thousands of years.

When nature throws a challenge, we are immensely grateful for the efforts of Gympie’s 28 Rural Fire Brigades making our community safe by protecting lives and property.

We would be in strife without them.

Gympie MP Tony Perrett says the latest State budget cuts to fire services are ‘reckless’.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett says the latest State budget cuts to fire services are ‘reckless’.

It is shameful when Governments take for granted the work of these volunteers.

Just as the bushfire season is beginning our rural fireys have just been notified that another $7 million will be ripped from their budgets making it a 38 per cent cut in the last two years.

It’s a devastating and demoralising blow.

To slash $20 million from their budget is reckless. The cuts mean less money for training, fire trucks, and equipment.

MORE GYMPIE NEWS

They’ve already been through the botched blue card fiasco where 4700 letters were sent to rural fireys threatening termination. The ongoing saga has resulted in thousands of rural fireys volunteers leaving in disgust at how the situation as handled.

A record of only achieving 54 per cent of planned burns between 2016-19 is not something to boast about, Mr Perrett says.
A record of only achieving 54 per cent of planned burns between 2016-19 is not something to boast about, Mr Perrett says.

It’s not that long ago that the Gympie based general manager of rural fireys said that many brigades believe they are being used a source of free labour by some departments to manage their fire risk.

Fires need an ignition and something to burn.

MORE NEWS

While drought, wind, and heatwaves can’t be controlled, fuel loads can and should be managed, and firebreaks and access trails maintained.

Government has exacerbated conditions by failing to meet hazard reduction targets.

A record of only completing 54 per cent of planned burns between 2016-219 is nothing to boast about.

In report card parlance that’s barely a pass.

No wonder 72.96 per cent of respondents in my recent electorate wide survey said they were dissatisfied with the level of fire and weed management in State controlled national parks.

It’s not good enough to ask rural fireys volunteers to turn up and then make it even harder for them to do their job.

Gympie Times


Massive Telstra outage cutting off Gympie internet service

Premium Content Massive Telstra outage cutting off Gympie internet service

Multiple residents have flagged major issues with their network connection since...

Storm trio join chorus for Coast-based NRL team

Premium Content Storm trio join chorus for Coast-based NRL team

Storm stars endorse Coast as region capable of having its own NRL team

Strange highway death is family’s second unthinkable loss

Premium Content Strange highway death is family’s second unthinkable loss

The grim discovery of a body near Gympie today is a devastating outcome for the...