The Premier has re-assured the United Firefighters Union that a re-elected majority Gutwein Liberal Government will not abolish the State Fire Commission.
In a letter to the Union’s Senior Industrial Organiser, Leigh Hills, Mr Gutwein said, “A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will not abolish the State Fire Commission.”
In addition, the Premier made it clear that the Government remains firmly of the view that funding collected by the State Fire Commission for the operation of the Tasmania Fire Service must continue to be ‘ring fenced’ into the future.
“We want to ensure that fire service funding per person in Tasmania remains well above the national average,” Mr Gutwein said.
In his letter Mr Gutwein asked Mr Hills to allay any concerns his member may have about the future of the Commission and let them know the Tasmanian Liberals greatly value the commitment and hard work undertaken by career and volunteer firefighters.
In his letter the Premier also pointed out that the Tasmanian Liberals in government have invested significant funds into the State Fire Commission, on top of the revenue the Commission receives from its statutory sources.
Our investment includes:
- $3.75 million for three new state of the art aerial appliances;
- $55 million for fuel reduction burns, an important program led by the TFS to reduce the threat of bushfire to our communities and provide a greater opportunity for firefighters, be they volunteers or career, to safely tackle fires when they occur; and
- $8 million for the creation of a new TFS Division to focus on bushfire management planning and volunteers.
We know that firefighters are on the frontline everyday working hard to keep our communities safe.