Premier visits Rockhampton promising to boost our firies
QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk brought the election bandwagon back to Central Queensland today to unveil her latest campaign promise.
Standing in front of the well used fire-fighting equipment of North Rockhampton Fire Station, the Premier promised to invest $29.5m over the next four years to boost Queensland's fire and emergency services with an additional 100 firefighters and 12 fire communications officers state-wide if she was re-elected.
"The commissioner will determine exactly the priorities of where the firefighters will go but we know that with natural disasters this state has, we need need to make sure we have enough firefighters,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Today's funding commitment recognises the changing nature of Queensland communities and the increasing demand for services.
"Critically, these new officers will be deployed across regional Queensland to areas most at risk from natural disasters.”
Ms Palaszczuk said this would mean more swiftwater rescue technicians to save people from floodwaters, more firefighters for property fires and road crash rescues, and more fire communication officers to provide the critical coordination required to ensure all emergency service officers work together in their response efforts.
"This Saturday, Queenslanders have a choice between my government, which is committed to delivering jobs and restoring frontline services, or Tim Nicholls who has only ever cut jobs and services,” the Premier said.
"The Newman-Nicholls LNP Government cut, threatened and closed frontline staff and services, while my government remains committed to increasing firefighter numbers and upgrading equipment and facilities.”
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the Palaszczuk Government had allocated record funding of $663.8 million for QFES in 2017-18, including budgeted staffing for 3,280 full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel.
"Earlier this year we all saw Queensland at its most vulnerable with the terrible devastation and heartache caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and its flooding aftermath,” Minister Ryan said.
"We also saw it at its strongest with communities working together and our magnificent fire and emergency services putting their own safety at risk to protect lives and property, ensuring the damage was not greater.
"I could not be more in awe of the amazing heroes working in our emergency services and I am determined to ensure they have every tool and support they need to continue doing the world-renowned work they do in Queensland.”
The announcement follows the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to appoint 49 FTE firefighter positions for the reserve roster.
The Palaszczuk Government has also invested:
- $107.9 million in fire and emergency service facilities, fire appliances and communications equipment throughout the state
- $30.1 million over two years for a new Accelerated Rural Fire Service Fleet Program
- $19.2 million for upgrades to auxiliary fire stations state-wide
- $4.2 million to complete the RFS and SES facility at Bundaberg and to upgrade the permanent Fire and Rescue Station and Communications Centre in Rockhampton
- $4million in operational equipment and protective clothing, including portable specialist scientific analysis and detection equipment, encapsulated gas suits and self-contained breathing apparatus.