Gippsland South The Nationals CFA Country Fire Authority Emergency Services Volunteers

No commitment from Labor for CFA stations

The Melbourne Labor Government has again failed to commit to a timeline or budget funding for badly needed upgrades to local fire stations.

Following the appointment of new Emergency Services Minister, James Merlino, The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien again raised in Parliament the urgent need for upgrades of Country Fire Authority (CFA) stations in his electorate.

Mr O’Brien said the stations at Yarram, Foster and Mirboo North were in particular need of upgrades with inadequate room for volunteers to get changed for a fire and little room to house the trucks.

Mr O’Brien had previously written to the former Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, seeking funding to upgrade Mirboo North and Foster bridges and raised in Parliament the need for Yarram’s station to be upgraded.

“The response is just as disappointing as that received from the former Minister and gave no indication that Melbourne Labor is going to make any funding available to undertake these important capital upgrades.

“The Minister’s answer says that Melbourne Labor is committed to investing in critical assets for the CFA, yet fails to allocate money for this to occur.

“Indeed, the Minister simply ignored the question of when funding might be available for fire station upgrades,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is in stark contrast to when The Nationals were in government as we funded 250 new stations across the state.”

Mr O’Brien said the Melbourne Labor Government seemed more intent on fighting with volunteers than worrying about their safety and modernizing their stations.

“I’ve spoken to the excellent volunteers at Mirboo North, Yarram and Foster, as well as many other stations around the electorate and I know how hard they work and the hours they put in to protect our communities,” Mr O’Brien said.

 “Melbourne Labor needs to show that it recognises the vital role CFA volunteers play in regional communities and commit to these upgrades.”

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