5000 rural fireys could face sack over Blue Card program
THE jobs of 5000 rural fireys are in “limbo” as the decision remains whether to sack the servicemen and women over a new program that will require the fireys to obtain a Blue Card before working.
Fire and Emergency Services Shadow Minister Lachlan Millar said that instead of respecting and valuing our volunteers that defend our rural communities the Labor Government continues to hold them in limbo.
“Minister Craig Crawford’s backflip on blue cards for rural fireys showed the implementation had been bungled from the start,” Mr Millar said.
“Nearly 5000 fireys were set to get the sack and now they should be urgently reinstated ahead of the upcoming bushfire season to ensure our communities are protected.
“The reason why the sacking of thousands of rural fire volunteers was delayed until after the fire season was that entire communities and brigades had been left unmanned under the botched rollout.”
Mr Millar said the program was doomed to fail from the very start.
“In Minister Crawford’s own region in the Far North, 46 per cent of rural fire volunteers had not applied for a Blue Card,” he said.
“The Central and Northern Queensland regions have 34 per cent and the South West region has 33 per cent of volunteers who hadn’t event put their applications in.
“Having a situation where there would have been towns and communities without functioning rural fire brigades due to the arrogance of this Labor Government’s handling of the blue card process is unforgivable.
“Craig Crawford must apologise to each and every rural fire volunteer today over this fiasco.”
Mr Millar said a Government led by opposition leader Deb Frecklington would ensure a future for our rural fire brigades, who play such a crucial role in keeping our communities safe.