MP fights for rural firefighters
Rural firefighters play a big role in the community when they are called upon to defend lives and homes from blazes. But LNP Member for Gympie David Gibson said the firies were facing more challenges handed to them from the state government.
Mr Gibson said he was not surprised more than 900 rural fire fighters had resigned from brigades across the state in the past two years.
“We have examples here in Gympie where local brigades are now being forced to pay the DERM lease payment for the land upon which the station is built,” Mr Gibson said.
“This was a payment that the Government had made in past years but this year in a typical Labor penny-pinching strategy they are passing the cost onto our local brigades.
“Whilst rural brigades are expected to fundraise to cover essential operating costs, including equipment, they should not be expected to pay the Government a lease payment for the land upon which the station building resides.
“It’s no wonder volunteers are leaving the QRFS if they are being forced to fundraise to pay government fees and charges. It’s clear that volunteers have had enough of the bully-boy management style of this long-term Labor government.”
Mr Gibson asked Minister for Emergency Services Neil Roberts in parliament this week why volunteers in Gympie were asked to pay the lease costs when the QFRS had paid the leases in the past, the station buildings were owned by the government, and the action would place an additional fundraising burden on volunteers who gave their time freely to fight rural fires and not necessarily to fundraise.
He said the government’s response that the $100 lease fee was passed on now because it was cheaper, was not good enough.
“The $100 would be better spent on purchasing new equipment.”