Labor has today guaranteed the future of Tasmania’s career and volunteer fire service, with the unveiling of a new firefighters and emergency services policy.
Today’s announcement includes the establishment of two new permanent fire crews in Burnie and Devonport with 40 additional firefighters and an additional fire truck, providing greater capacity to respond to natural disasters and road accidents in the North West.
Earlier this week Labor Leader Rebecca White signed the United Fire Union’s Tasmanian Fire Safety Pledge for more crews, more support for volunteers and a statutory authority of the State Fire Commission.
Shadow Fire and Emergency Management Minister Jen Butler said only Labor was working for Tasmania’s firefighters and the communities they protect.
“Permanent and volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line for us when we need them most,” Ms Butler said.
“We need to do everything we can to keep them safe too, which is why Labor will end the failed Liberal amalgamation experiment, committing to never force the amalgamation of volunteer brigades, including by stealth.
“Labor will also uphold the standalone fire statutory authority to ensure people with firefighting experience are the ones making decisions around fire response capabilities and needs.
“Tasmanians deserve more firefighters with better equipment and that is exactly what you will get under a Labor Government.”
Ms Butler said this announcement would support our Tasmanian Firefighters and Emergency Service personnel, who are our most valuable weapon in keeping communities safe.
“We have listened to the feedback from career and volunteer brigades across the state and they are telling us there is a lack of focus on the needs and capabilities of our fire service,” Ms Butler said.
“More than $3.15 million would be invested to install life-saving halo systems on all firefighting vehicles and we will invest in 12 additional field officers to provide support to volunteer brigades across each fire districts.
“Labor will also immediately implement a testing system to monitor the health of firefighters that have been exposed to PFAS and review our national commitments on this issue.
“Given Tasmanians rely on our firefighters to keep our communities safe, both during emergencies and through ongoing work to prevent emergencies in the first place, we cannot afford four more years of Liberal cuts.”
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management