August 1, 2014

Penrith fire today: response times impacted by NSW budget cuts

The grass fire that destroyed property in Penrith this afternoon could have been attacked by firefighters earlier, but for NSW Government budget cuts.

The grass fire that destroyed property in Penrith this afternoon could have been attacked by firefighters earlier, but for NSW Government budget cuts.

The union representing professional firefighters said today that a fire appliance based just a few minutes away in Penrith had been moved further away to cover the Richmond area for the day, as Richmond had lost fire fighting capacity due to budget cuts.

Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) NSW Secretary Jim Casey said that the state Government was playing Russian Roulette with community safety, by taking fire stations offline to save money.

“NSW firefighters have opposed budget cuts that impact community safety from the moment they were announced, because of exactly this concern”

“The Penrith fire appliance could have been on the fire ground quicker than any other unit responding today, that is unarguable.”

“This is a grass fire in winter, imagine when stations are closed in summer?”

“The Government needs to re-think these cuts before someone gets hurt.”

For media comment/ more info please call Jim Casey on 0419 267 555 or Darin Sullivan on 0422 436 044.