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Issue #1579      January 30, 2013

Danger of fire station closures

A car fire posed a dangerous threat to public safety in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra yesterday, thanks to the O’Farrell government’s budget cuts and irresponsible policy of closing fire stations.

Firefighters received a call about the blaze near Maroubra shops, just 500 metres from the local fire station.

However, Maroubra station was empty because the local crew was forced to relocate to Sutherland due to a temporary station closure caused by budget cuts.

The situation was not properly dealt with until the next closest crew arrived from Matraville station, taking seven minutes to get there, instead of the seconds Maroubra station would have, had it not been closed for the day.

Fire Brigade Employees’ Union President, Darin Sullivan, said the state government’s reckless approach to public safety was unsustainable.

“This blaze, just 500 metres from Maroubra Station demonstrates this government’s blatant disregard for community safety,” Mr Sullivan said.

“A car was allowed to blaze on a busy road near shops putting the public at risk for longer than necessary. Sooner or later, someone will be in that car.”

He said the government was treating fire protection like a game of musical chairs.

“Communities across NSW need to know that at some stage, the music will stop and they will be left exposed.

“What makes this policy even more galling is that the government is attempting to slug households with a new property tax which will cost the average family $300 per year.

“The O’Farrell government wants to cut fire protection and charge more for the privilege. That’s simply unacceptable.”  

Next article – The feral rich

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