Media | Local News

Labor must take responsibility for Rural Fire and SES mess

15th March 2019

LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar has called on Labor Minister Craig Crawford to stop hiding behind his Commissioner and take responsibility for his department.

It comes after Mr Crawford failed to address concerns and be across the details of his proposed restructure of rural fire brigades and the SES, within the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.

Mr Millar said the Minister has been exposed through his inability to explain to his employees, volunteers and Queenslanders, whether Rural Fire brigades and SES groups will be worse off.

“Rural Fire brigades are being told their new funding will now be sourced out of the same regional QFES budget, but Minister Crawford claims this isn’t the case,” Mr Millar said.

“Mr Crawford needs to set the record straight on whether local rural fire and SES groups funding will be absorbed or affected by this restructure.

“The most disappointing part of this entire process has been the complete lack of consultation with the very groups this restructure will impact.

“Clearly the Minister thinks he is above due diligence.

“If Mr Crawford and the QFES bothered to consult and listen, they would realise this restructure isn’t what the rural fire brigades want or need.

“This is typical behaviour from the arrogant Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“They continually neglect the bush.

“Rural and regional Queenslanders who volunteer for fire brigades deserve a seat at the decision-making table about the future of their brigades.

“The proposed restructure of the QFES will strip the Rural Fire Service Assistance Commissioner and SES Assistant Commissioner of responsibility.

“Dedicated budgets for every Rural Fire Service Queensland region will also be absorbed into the QFES regional budgets.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s priorities are all wrong and her embattled Minister Craig Crawford needs to take some responsibility for this mess.”

* https://rfbaq.org/qfes-regionalisation-discussion-with-minister