An Open Letter to FBEU Members in Sutherland Electorate

December 16, 1997

Dear Comrade,

I am writing on behalf of the FBEU to ask that you seriously consider your future as a professional firefighter when voting in this coming Saturday’s by-election.

Since its election in March 1995, the Carr Labor Government has introduced many progressive reforms which have seen NSW move from strength to strength after 8 years of Greiner/Fahey neglect. But it is primarily due to the ALP’s efforts with the NSW Fire Brigades that I ask you to seriously consider voting Labor (if you aren’t already intending to do so).

Weigh the future of your job against these facts:

Wages: Under Carr Labor, FBEU members have secured a benchmark 18% in wage rises over three years. The Liberals froze firefighter wages for almost all 8 years in office, only conceding to 13% increases after a long and bitter industrial dispute in 1994.

Staffing: Under Carr Labor, more than 100 additional permanent firefighters have been employed, with many more to follow. The Liberals froze firefighter staff levels for all of their 8 years.

Stations: Under Carr Labor, 84, 78, 92, 94 & 99 Stations have already gone 10/14, with another 8 to follow in Sydney alone. Following FBEU representation, it is now ALP policy that 10 major Country centres go permanent by 2000. The Liberals didn’t open any stations in 8 years. In fact, they closed two!

Funding: Under Carr Labor, NSWFB funding has increased by over 20% in less than 3 years. Capital funding for stations, appliances and equipment has dramatically increased. The Liberals strangled the budget, with capital works receiving no government funding whatsoever for 3 years running!

History has shown time and again that it’s Labor for progress, or the Liberals for stagnation (or worse!). If you care about the future of your job, the answer this Saturday has to be to:

VOTE 1 – Christine Hawkins, ALP.

Yours fraternally,

Chris Read

State Secretary

16th December, 1997



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