Boost for fire brigades with fuel, maintenance costs met
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.