Thousands of Queensland Rural Fire volunteers remain in limbo

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

On ‘Thank a First Responder Day’ the Palaszczuk Labor Government refuses to budge on its push to sack nearly 5000 rural fire brigade volunteers after the upcoming fire season.

LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar said that instead of respecting and valuing our volunteers that defend our rural communities the Labor Government continues to hold them in limbo.

“Minister Craig Crawford’s backflip on blue cards for rural firies showed the implementation had been bungled from the start,” Mr Millar said.

“Nearly 5000 firies were set to get the sack and now they should be urgently re-instated ahead of the upcoming bushfire season to ensure our communities are protected.

“The reason why the sacking of thousands of rural fire volunteers was delayed until after the fire season was that entire communities and brigades had been left unmanned under the botched rollout.

“In Minister Crawford’s own region in the Far North, 46 per cent of rural fire volunteers had not applied for a Blue Card*.

“The Central and Northern Queensland regions have 34 per cent and the South West region has 33 per cent of volunteers who hadn’t event put their applications in.

“Having a situation where there would have been towns and communities without functioning rural fire brigades due to the arrogance of this Labor Government’s handling of the blue card process is unforgivable. 

“Craig Crawford must apologise to each and every rural fire volunteer today over this fiasco.

“An LNP Government led by Deb Frecklington would work with our rural firies, not threaten them with the sack and help keep our communities safe.

“On behalf of the LNP I want to thank them all for their hard work and professionalism in serving our community.”

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