The Palaszczuk Government has announced a record 2018-19 State Budget spend of $702 million on Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), promising to deliver jobs and upgraded frontline services, facilities and equipment.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said today (Monday) the record funding confirmed the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to keeping Queenslanders safe.
“This government knows Queensland sees more than its fair share of natural disasters and emergencies,” Mr Crawford said. “That’s why we need to ensure our emergency services have everything they need to serve the community when they need help most.
“The $702 million funding commitment for QFES in 2018-19, including budgeted staffing for more than 3300 full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel, delivers on our commitment to enhancing community safety right across the State, well into the future.”
Mr Crawford said a $29.5 million commitment over four years to provide 100 frontline firefighters and 12 extra fire communications officers - an election promise by the Premier - ensured communities continued receiving quality services.
“It’s imperative QFES grows with the community so it can continue delivering excellent service to those they serve, and this commitment will enhance operational capability right across the State,” he said.
Mr Crawford said $82.3 million would be invested in 2018-19 into fire and emergency services facilities, vehicles, information and communications systems and equipment.
“As our personnel numbers grow it is important that they are supported through the provision of appropriate and critical infrastructure, like new fire and rescue stations” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has allocated $7.6 million in 2018-19 to the commencement and delivery of new auxiliary Fire and Rescue stations in Childers, Rathdowney, Richmond, El Arish, Esk, Gracemere, Kilkivan, Wooroolin and Yarraman.
“A further $2.5 million will ensure Fire and Rescue stations in Loganlea, Mount Ommaney and West Logan receive appropriate upgrades in 2018-19. Replacing or upgrading ageing facilities will improve response times, deliver enhanced services and support community growth.
“I’m pleased to announce that the 2018-19 Budget also includes more than $1 million of the $3 million committed during the election campaign towards the commencement of a new QFES complex in Maleny, that will accommodate the local Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Service (SES) and Auxiliary Fire and Rescue Service."
Mr Crawford said $44.3 million has been allocated in 2018-19 for the replacement and delivery of 180 new urban and rural fire appliances.
“I am confident that the projected delivery of 61 new Fire and Rescue vehicles, as well as 119 Rural Fire Service vehicles, will go a long way in bolstering firefighting efforts across the state,” he said.
“QFES is committed to community safety, so it’s vital frontline firefighters and volunteers have access to state of the art equipment and infrastructure.
“About $2.7 million has been allocated in 2018-19 to the commencement or completion of joint RFS and SES facilities in Howard, Horn Island and Mount Isa.
“Cairns and Rockhampton will receive almost $3 million worth of upgrades to their communication centres in 2018-19, boosting the ability of the regions to respond to life-threatening incidents.
“Community safety is also a priority in Weipa, with $400,000 allocated next financial year for the commencement of a $1.2 million Emergency and Disaster Centre,” he said.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford