Labor has been caught red handed exaggerating and misleading Queenslanders on the level of funding it’s putting towards Rural Fire Brigades.
LNP Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Lachlan Millar said Minister Craig Crawford had been sprung, after claiming there was nearly $13 million (or 25%) more in the 2019-20 budget for Rural Fire.
“In March, Minister Crawford was bragging that Labor had increased Rural Fire funding ‘by a third to $52 million’ compared to the $39 million it inherited from the LNP in 2015*,’ said Mr Millar.
“But when questioned in Estimates and under parliamentary oath, Minister Crawford came clean and admitted the budget had in fact not grown at all.
“Instead it was still $39 million in 2019-20 – the same as in 2015**.
“This means funding for Queensland’s Rural Fire Service has stalled under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“With no increase to even cover CPI, this is effectively a cut.
“What we have here is a Minister willing to say one thing in the regions, but something completely different in parliament when his Brisbane masters are giving him scripts.
“We saw the contempt in which Labor held rural and regional Queenslanders by slashing Hazard Reduction Burns and then turning around blaming farmers for fueling the bushfires, in the ‘so-called’ bushfire report.
“Blaming farmers for being confused about backburning rights while ignoring Labor’s own mismanagement of state-controlled land and national parks is a new low.
“Only the LNP will hold government agencies to account and properly fund rural fire services, so they can undertake fire mitigation activities.”
* Statement Minister Crawford: Palaszczuk Government supports keeping rural fire brigades rural http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/3/12/palaszczuk-government-supports-keeping-rural-fire-brigades-rural
** Pre-estimates Questions on Notice – QFES: No. 10: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/LACSC/2019/Estimates2019/qon-26Jul2019-Estim-Fire.pdf