Mark Shelton’s appalling performance in Parliament today gives little comfort to Tasmanian volunteer fire brigades facing an uncertain future.
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Jen Butler, said while in Question Time today, the Minister failed to rule out a secret agenda to close volunteer fire brigades, he then proceeded to do a backflip an hour later.
“After Question Time, Mark Shelton announced on social media that he had no plans to close volunteer fire brigades – why didn’t he just rule this out in Parliament when he had the chance?
“It’s little wonder volunteer fire brigades are confused and worried about their future when the Minister can’t even answer a direct question.
“While the Minister has now seen the light on forced closures of volunteer fire brigades, he must now rule out closure by stealth and forced amalgamations.
“Local volunteer brigades are the heart and soul of their communities and are also the first responders to emergencies for many regional communities.
“As the bushfire risk increases across our landscape, Tasmania’s reliance increases on the surge capacity of volunteers.
“Mark Shelton needs to come clean on his plan for volunteer fire brigades and rule out forced amalgamations or any attempts by the government to pressure brigades to close.”
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management