Nationals MLC Colin Holt says the community has every right to feel angered by the admission of Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan that no modelling or research has been done to substantiate his claim that establishing a rural fire service would cost $400 million.
‘Minister Logan has confessed that the $400 million figure he has previously stated as the cost of a rural fire service is not an estimate, but a figure he fudged to make the establishment of a rural fire service seem unaffordable. Logan’s figures are greasier than a fireman’s pole’ said Mr Holt.
Mr Holt said that the Nationals support all 17 recommendations of the Special Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona and Yarloop Fire by Euan Ferguson, including the recommendation to establish a Rural Fire Service.
‘Avoiding another bushfire catastrophe by establishing a rural fire service is one of the key recommendations of the Ferguson Report.’
‘Local knowledge, experience and expertise in fighting bushfires are often the difference between containing a fire or it getting out of control. It’s time for this issue to stop being a political football – the government must support our firefighters and prioritise the safety of our regional communities.’
Mr Holt said that it is a step in the right direction that the Minister is holding a Bushfire Mitigation Summit in Mandurah this week. In his June 3 Media release the Minister stated that local MPs from across the political spectrum would be invited.
‘As a member of parliament for the South West Region I was expecting an invitation, but it must have slipped the Minister’s mind’ Mr Holt commented.
‘WA has experienced several catastrophic fires in recent years and in my electorate communities are still struggling to recover from the devastating impact. We should all be working together with a multi-partisan approach to improve our bushfire response capabilities.’
For media enquiries please contact Office of Colin Holt MLC on (08) 9724 1181