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Battin - Labor’s failure to prepare for the upcoming fire season could have deadly consequences

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Labor’s failure to prepare for the upcoming fire season could have deadly consequences

As Victorians face a potentially deadly fire season this summer, Daniel Andrews has failed to ensure that our fire services have the resources they need to keep the community safe.

We have seen a mass exodus of nearly 4,000 volunteers from our fire services due to Daniel Andrews’ war against the CFA.

The recent CFA Annual Report showed that the Andrews Labor Government had failed to meet its own operational volunteer target by 5,000 firefighters.

Under Daniel Andrews, volunteer and career firefighters have also issued warnings about potentially deadly blackspots and dropouts plaguing the CFA’s new digital radio system, despite clear warnings about the importance of reliable communications from the 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission.

Recommendation 23 of the Royal Commission states:

“The Country Fire Authority review and improve its communications strategy as a matter of priority and develop a program for identifying and responding to black spots in radio coverage.”

It is understood the Andrews Labor Government is preparing to launch a major advertising campaign in coming weeks urging Victorians to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

It’s time Daniel Andrews took some of his own advice and took action to ensure our fire services have the personnel and equipment required to protect Victorians this coming fire season.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin:

“Once again Daniel Andrews has left our fire services in the lurch, without the personnel and equipment needed to ensure that we are prepared for the upcoming fire season.

“If Daniel Andrews is going to spend taxpayers’ money telling Victorians to prepare for the upcoming fire season, it’s time he took some of his own advice and ensure he provides our fire services with the resources they need so they are adequately prepared as well.”