Fire and Emergency Services ablaze with record budget

The Palaszczuk Government has announced a record budget of more than $740 million to provide frontline emergency services with the facilities and equipment needed to protect Queensland communities.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said another record budget spend after a year of bushfires, floods and cyclones would ensure Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) personnel could continue to keep Queenslanders safe.

“We can now start work on projects that have a firm focus on building QFES’ capability,” Mr Crawford said.

In Brisbane, the replacement of Eagle Farm’s mechanical workshop will start at a Pinkenba site courtesy of $1.5 million, while $1 million will start upgrades on the Cairns QFES communications centre.

“About $900,000 has been allocated for the replacement of the fire and rescue station at Charters Towers and another $550,000 means we can start on the replacement of the auxiliary fire and rescue stations in Gracemere, Longreach, Rainbow Beach and Rosewood.”

Mr Crawford said there were other projects underway for regional communities, from Weipa in the north to Rathdowney in the south and Mount Isa in the west.

“More than $11 million will be put towards the replacement of the regional QFES headquarters and the new fire and rescue station at Charlton in Toowoomba,” he said.

“More than $5 million has been set aside to complete the fire and rescue stations in Bracken Ridge and West Logan, while $4.8 million will be used to finish auxiliary fire and rescue stations at El Arish, Esk and Yarraman and $3.3 million will go to the completion of station upgrades in Kilkivan and Rathdowney.

“Weipa will also receive $800,000 for its QFES emergency and disaster centre.”

The Government is also investing $50 million in fire and rescue and rural fire appliances, which will deliver 50 fire and rescue appliances and 25 much-needed rural appliances – that means more red and yellow trucks on the ground across the State, keeping Queenslanders safe.

The State Emergency Service (SES) will receive more than $4 million to connect south east Queensland SES groups to the Government Wireless Network, as well as $712,000 in grants to assist with the cost of acquisition and maintenance of facilities, vehicles and flood boats.

Mr Crawford said the Rural Fire Service (RFS) would also receive $185,000 in capital grants for brigades, while the Budget also included money for community education programs.

“That’s why $400,000 is going to the Bushfire Safety campaign, which encourages Queenslanders to prepare a bushfire survival plan, and there is the same amount for the Home Fire Safety winter fire campaign about the need to prepare, discuss and practice household fire escape plans.

“The importance of the new smoke alarm legislative requirements for domestic dwellings can’t be underestimated and that’s why $425,000 will go to the delivery of an education campaign about it.

“And we’re continuing to deliver brand new firefighters across Queensland as promised at the election, with nearly 50 of the 100 promised recruits already allocated.

“This is a terrific Budget outcome across the State that reinforces the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to keeping Queenslanders safe and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”

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