Posted on 05. Sep, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government’s decision to cut $66 million from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority will pave the way for further job cuts and shortfalls in essential training putting fire-fighters at risk, Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews labelled the cuts as a disgraceful attack on the very people that are on the front- line protecting Victoria’s homes and businesses.

“When will Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan realise that these harsh cuts are putting the safety of Victorians at risk?”, Mr Andrews said.

“Fire-fighters should be confident that they have the resources to protect Victoria but unfortunately Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan are letting them down”.

On radio yesterday Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan said:

”There is no way in the world we are going to reduce the front-line capacity of our agencies to be able to compete with the pressures that happen when inevitably we have the fires come again. (4th September 2012).

Mr Andrews said that both Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan must realise that cuts of this magnitude will impact on front-line services.

“They will also impact on the Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations that the Baillieu Government promised it would implement ‘lock stock and barrel’.

“The undergrounding of powerlines and prescribed burning targets in areas of high bushfire risk are recommendations that the government has failed to implement.

“With Victoria’s bushfire season fast approaching, Victorians need assurances from Mr Baillieu that their safety will not be jeopardised through these funding cuts.

“Nobody, except Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan, seriously believes you can cut $66 million out of fire fighting and not impact safety”, Mr Andrews said.


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