LNP Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Volunteers Lachlan Millar has warned forced changes to management and funding will be the death of the Rural Fire Service as we know it.
A proposed restructure of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) will strip the Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner and SES Assistant Commissioner of responsibility.
Dedicated budgets for every Rural Fire Service Queensland region will also be absorbed into the QFES regional budgets.
“The Rural Fire Service Queensland is a shining example of how to model and operate a successful volunteer-based firefighting service,” Mr Millar said.
“We have serious concerns about what these takeover measures will mean for our rural firies.
“The assistant commissioners for the rural fire brigade and SES will exist in name only and have no authority.
“There is no justification for Labor Minister Craig Crawford changing how rural fire brigades are managed and financed.
“This reeks of a Brisbane takeover of the bush, with city-based bureaucrats trying to get more control over rural and regional Queensland fire services and budgets.
“When the Rural Fire Brigade Association comes out so strongly against this aggressive takeover of rural fire in Queensland*- it’s time to listen.
“This is typical behaviour from this arrogant Palaszczuk Labor Government, which steals control from the regions and neglects the bush.
“Rural and regional Queenslanders who volunteer for service through rural fire brigades deserve a dedicated seat at the decision-making table within QFES.
“The Rural Fire Service Queensland deserves a level of autonomy to serve their communities to the best of their ability.
“Rural firies are best placed to protect their local communities and should be recognised and supported.”