The Palaszczuk Labor Government's decision to strip almost 5000 rural fire brigade volunteers of their uniforms and ban them from fire stations over the botched rollout of blue cards is a disgrace, the LNP said today.
Rural fire brigade volunteers who have so far not applied for blue cards have also been warned that they will be sacked if they do not apply within 30 days – even though the backburning season is about to begin in much of Queensland (see attached letter).
LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar said the looming mass sacking was just the latest example of the Palaszczuk Labor Government's appalling treatment of rural firies.
"For the Palaszczuk Labor Government to be sending out termination letters to rural fire volunteers because Labor have botched their blue card process is a farce," Mr Millar said.
"It is an absolute disgrace that those volunteers, who have stood on the frontline defending their communities, are being kicked out over paperwork.
"A mass exodus of thousands of rural fire brigade volunteers is happening right now and it must be stopped.
"Queensland can't afford to have thousands of rural firies walk away.
"The fact that some regions will be losing half their brigade members right before fire season is alarming.
"Community safety is important, but the blue card requirement process demanded by Annastacia Palaszczuk has been bungled from day one.
"It's time for Annastacia Palaszczuk to fix this mess before it's too late.
"The LNP will never unfairly sack our valuable and hardworking rural firefighters who sacrifice so much to keep their communities safe.
"We need our rural fire volunteers now more than ever for the upcoming bushfire season.
"Labor's arrogant behaviour is putting our communities at risk."