State leader for the Australian Party Aiden McLindon and local candidate Luke Hargreaves discuss proposed plans for the Rural Fire Brigade with fire wardens Ivan Western, John McDonald from Cawarral and Ian Travis from Byfield Photo Sophie Jackson / Capricorn Coast Mirror
State leader for the Australian Party Aiden McLindon and local candidate Luke Hargreaves discuss proposed plans for the Rural Fire Brigade with fire wardens Ivan Western, John McDonald from Cawarral and Ian Travis from Byfield Photo Sophie Jackson / Capricorn Coast Mirror Sophie Jackson

Funding for rural firies

FIGHTING fires for about 30 years Cawarral Rural Fire warden Ivan Western, group officer for the Keppel Region, remembered 2009 as the worst and most dangerous season in recent times as he and fellow rural firefighters waited on Yeppoon Main Beach to meet with Australian Party state leader Aidan McLindon and local candidate Luke Hargreaves.

"We chased the fire right from the start on Emu Park Rd all the way to Rocky and we had a hundred people working out of the Cawarral shed," he said.

According to Mr McLindon the Queensland Rural Fire Service is the most underfunded service in Australia and the costs of running and maintaining the service and its volunteers should be recognised as an investment and not expenditure by the State Government.

"These guys didn't volunteer to go around cap in hand selling sausages and asking for funds," local candidate Luke Hargreaves said.

"We want to appreciate the work they do."

Promising funding of $90 million a year to the Queensland Rural Fire Service to pay for training, equipment, running costs and the construction of fire stations, the Australian Party plans to create a separate Rural Fire Service division within Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr McLindon said the funds would come from scrapping the Year 7 transition to high schools, which has an estimated cost of about $620 million.

"It won't add value to the education system," he said.



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