Firies say lives are on the line

Central Region senior firefighter Greg Harris (top right) speaks about the impacts of the State Government’s job cuts on urban and rural fire services abilities ahead of a bad fire season during the United Voices National Day of Action rally in Rockhampton.
Central Region senior firefighter Greg Harris (top right) speaks about the impacts of the State Government’s job cuts on urban and rural fire services abilities ahead of a bad fire season during the United Voices National Day of Action rally in Rockhampton. Sharyn Oneill

RISK to lives due to emergency services cuts and uncertain futures were the themes at Central Park yesterday afternoon.

More than 500 people from Rockhampton and Gladstone gathered at the George St, Rockhampton, park for the United Voice's National Day of Action rally to protest against the state government job cuts.

Senior firefighter Greg Harris said Central Region had lost half its office staff, its Aboriginal liaison officer and rural fire administration staff.

"We are coming into one of the biggest fire seasons we've had in some time," he said.

"They call them office workers, but when the chips are down, they run the organisation."

Mr Harris said the other big concern was the casualisation of firefighters and the scrapping of recruitment since May.

And Capricorn Corrections Centre staff walked off the job the moment the State Budget was handed down on Tuesday after finding out a further eight jobs, on top of the already announced nine positions from the Inmate Trade Program last month, would be gone by the end of this week.

Corrections centre Together Union president Simone Hitchcock said there were 380 inmates at the centre and 50 on the farm with 50 staff per shift and four to five per shift respectively, before the cuts.

She said the latest cuts meant there would be 40 staff per shift looking after 380 inmates.

Meanwhile, ambulance officers have absolutely no idea what the State Government has in mind for their organisation.


Topics:  craig allen health job cuts qbuild queensland ambulance service queensland fire and rescue service rally rockhampton state government teachers united voice

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