No new stations despite fire tax increase

No new fire stations have been committed for Gippsland South in the 2024-25 State Budget despite landholders contributing approximately $186 million in additional revenue as a result of the Allan Labor Government’s fire service levy increase.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said local brigades like Mirboo North, Korumburra and Foster will continue to be forced to operate out of premises that are not fit-for-purpose, placing volunteers at unnecessary risk.

“Despite being saddled with increased taxes, our local communities are unlikely to see much benefit at all from this additional revenue,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is already being reported that much of the fire service levy increase will go towards the United Firefighters Union (UFU) and to cover the demands of city-based brigades.”

Mr O’Brien highlighted that Mirboo North, Korumburra and Foster have all been crying out for a new facility for going on a decade.

“The Foster community rejoiced when a new fire station was finally included in the CFA capital budget for completion in the 2023-24 financial year, only to have the funds go missing.

“The current Foster fire station, just like Mirboo North and Korumburra, is too small and insufficient for modern needs.

“The station door is simply too small for modern trucks and there is also an OHS issue in that there is not enough space for volunteers to change into fire gear next to moving trucks.

“Our volunteer brigades simply want modern vehicles, appliances and facilities that are fit for purpose.

“Regional Victorians are paying more and receiving less under an Allan Labor Government.”

Mr O’Brien said he has not given up his campaign to secure new fire stations for Foster, Korumburra and Mirboo North and will continue to advocate for the needs of our local volunteer firefighters.

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