Key decision making for rural fire services have been put where they belong – in the regions that they serve.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford has supported rural fire brigades directly reporting to their regionally-based assistant commissioners.
“Different parts of Queensland have differing needs and local knowledge is paramount,” he said.
The Minister blasted LNP members for media releases that get the issue entirely backwards.
“Yet again the LNP has been caught spreading misinformation,” he said.
“The lines of reporting have been tweaked so that the rural fire brigades will report to their regionally-based assistant commissioners.
“At the moment, those brigades all report to their Brisbane-based assistant commissioner.
“This means that decision-making and responsibility will remain in the regions and there will be no impact on operations for brigades.
“Budgets will still be held locally.
“This is what the brigades said they wanted and QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll agrees that this is the best way to keep Queenslanders safe.
“It’s just a pity that the LNP didn’t bother to get the facts right before wasting ink on issuing incorrect media releases.
“There have been many months of consultation with a wide range of individuals and groups.
“This is not a political issue nor should it be undermined by politicians peddling nonsense to volunteers and staff who are passionate about serving under the QFES banner.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to our Rural Fire Services is historic.
“We inherited a budget of $39 million and since 2015 we have increased that by a third to $52 million … that’s our commitment to remote and regional Queenslanders.
“The important thing to remember, however, is that this is an operational matter led by QFES’ Commissioner Carroll, who commanded QFES brilliantly during the recent fires and floods.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford