Boost for fire brigades with fuel, main­te­nance costs met

Isis Town and Country - - News -

BUND­ABERG and Bur­nett vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers will no longer have to rely on rat­tling tins to raise funds just to keep their trucks on the road dur­ing the busy bush­fire sea­son.

Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett said fuel and main­te­nance costs for the en­tire Queens­land Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice fleet would be fully funded dur­ing the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year.

Mr Ben­nett said the fund­ing would safe­guard the fu­ture of many small brigades. “Fuel and main­te­nance costs are a huge fi­nan­cial bur­den on our small ru­ral fire brigades and this fund­ing will no doubt go a long way in as­sist­ing our vol­un­teers to get on with the job,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“Our ded­i­cated vol­un­teer fire fight­ers work tire­lessly and make huge sac­ri­fices to serve our com­mu­nity and of­ten strug­gle to fund them­selves for gen­eral run­ning costs, they need our sup­port. ”

Mr Ben­nett said the fuel and main­te­nance fund­ing, which is a first for Queens­land’s fire brigades, will be­gin on July 1.

Good­wood Ru­ral Fire Brigade First Of­fi­cer Richard Greatorex wel­comed the fund­ing an­nounce­ment, which he said would “make a big dif­fer­ence”.

“For small brigades that are re­ally poorly funded in a ru­ral area, you have to go out and fundraise... this will cer­tainly make like a lot eas­ier and takes a fair bit of pres­sure off,” he said.

Mr Greatorex said main­te­nance costs alone were dif­fi­cult for small ru­ral fire brigades to keep up with.

“It costs $2000 just to re­place tyres alone, with­out any other main­te­nance. We have to find that money from some­where.” he said.

“It’s $1000 each time we ser­vice our trucks – that doesn’t count fuel and tyres, and road­wor­thies on top of that.”

Mr Greatorex said his brigade would con­tinue to fundraise at var­i­ous lo­cal events, in­clud­ing the Woodgate Easter Fair and mul­ti­cul­tural fes­ti­val.

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