The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, is calling on the Victorian Government to bolster its funding support of local CFA brigades ahead of the upcoming State Budget.
Last year the Andrews Government collected $800 million from the fees Victorians pay to the fire services property levy with State Budget papers confirming that just $7.6 million was to be spent on new asset infrastructure.
Ms Cleeland said country firefighting infrastructure needed to be bought into the 21st century.
“We have some incredibly outdated stations and vehicles right across the region. Some of these are unsafe and downright dangerous,” Ms Cleeland said.
“There are fleet vehicles that are completely out of line with safe emissions standards and sheds where diesel particulates are causing concern for volunteers.
“At stations like Seymour, just turning out causes traffic chaos and is having a serious impact on their response times.”
Nearly 10,000 volunteers have left the CFA since the Andrews Government came to power in 2014.
“The Andrews Government came to power and from day one misunderstood the crucial role our volunteers play in creating safe and resilient communities,” Ms Cleeland said.
“We’ve seen shocking restructures and insufficient funding, with brigades constantly rattling cans to meet their needs.
“Our volunteers should be provided the best infrastructure and assets we can afford. They’re not getting that from the Andrews Government.”
Ms Cleeland and her National Party colleagues recently hosted Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria at Parliament House.
“Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria are doing a great job advocating for the needs of our community-based CFA teams,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Our amazing local volunteers drop everything to support their neighbours and region on the most difficult of days.
“They should be supported with investment and assets to ensure their work can be done efficiently, effectively and they can continue to keep us safe.”