December 16, 2009

“That this Newcastle meeting of FBEU members condemns the Keneally Government’s confirmation this week of the closure of Waratah Fire Station and the permanent relocation of its appliance and staff over 20 kilometres away at Toronto. The Keneally Government’s decision to shut Waratah means the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA) has lost a fire station, the Newcastle LGA has lost 20 permanent firefighters and the region has lost the opportunity for 20 additional (not relocated) jobs at Toronto. Further, by allowing Waratah Fire Station to close after barely a week in the job, Kristina Keneally has also abandoned the clear commitment of former Premier Nathan Rees (who refused to allow the NSWFB to close Waratah) to maintain front line public services.

This meeting also condemns NSWFB management for having lied to the Union, the workforce and the community about the need to “temporarily” relocate the Waratah Brigade while OH&S issues at the station were rectified, when it is now obvious to all that management never intended to return our members or re-open the fire station.

This meeting therefore resolves to direct the members attached to the Waratah Brigade to report for duty at Mayfield West Fire Station from 1800 hours this evening, and that Waratah’s members are to remain working from Mayfield West until directed otherwise by their Union. Any attempt by management to discipline any member following this direction will be met with a disproportionate response.”

Jim Casey

State Secretary