Great Alpine Road, near Bruthen. 10/01/07

Daniel Andrews’ new fire service admits it cannot protect regional Victoria

In a shocking revelation, a Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) report has exposed that Labor’s new fire service has “no capacity” to respond to bushfires in regional Victoria.

The Liberal Nationals have warned for years that Daniel Andrews’ war on the CFA would expose the community to a greater risk of loss of life and property.

The report states:

“Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) have no capacity to adequately response (sic) to our bushfire risk within the FRV primary areas or adjoining CFA Districts in the regional locations.”

The report recommends that FRV “lease or loan” tankers from the CFA, and allocate them to the following FRV stations: 

Wodonga, Wangaratta, Shepparton, Traralgon, Morwell, Latrobe West, Mildura, Bendigo, Ballarat City, Lucas, Warrnambool and Portland.

This will potentially leave the CFA without the vehicles it needs to protect the Victorian community.

Also stated in the report is:

“Before July 1, it was custom and practise for professional firefighters to support their local community with appropriate vehicles for bushfire response. This service is no longer available, nor is the capacity to protect these communities from fire impacting from adjoining CFA brigade areas.” 

The report also indicates that FRV pumpers are specifically excluded from all response into ‘National critical infrastructure risks’ which are gazetted into their jurisdiction. 

These include:

·       Loy Yang A Power Station 

·       Loy Yang Open Cut Coal Mine 

·       Loy Yang B Power Station 

·       Valley Power Gas Plant 

·       Basslink Convertor Station 

·       Yallourn Power Station 

·       Yallourn Coal Mine

This means that if a fire similar to the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire began today, the fire could not be attended by FRV.

Daniel Andrews rushed through his fire service changes to please his mates in the United Firefighters Union (UFU) and now the risk this has caused the community is being exposed.

Daniel Andrews has lost the confidence of Victorians to govern our state and his destructive fire services changes have been once again shown to be placing lives and property at risk.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Nick Wakeling:

“Daniel Andrews has put pleasing his mates in the UFU ahead of protecting the Victorian community.

“Labor’s destructive fire service changes are exposing the community to greater risk.

“Only the Liberal Nationals will stand up for Victoria’s CFA volunteers and return the CFA to being an independent, volunteer-based, autonomous fire service.”

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