ACT on Fire

Canberra Fires 2003:
264,000 hectares burnt, over 500 homes destroyed, 490 injured, 4 dead...
Never again

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Open quoteThe lessons of 2003 have been lost. ACT Fire and Rescue is understaffed, under resourced and under prepared for the next major bushfire emergency.Close quote

Stephen Gibbs, (Australian Fire Service Medal, 34 years' experience in fire and rescue in the A.C.T).

Join the campaign to fireproof Canberra’s future


The Canberra population has grown by more than 17%, but only two extra firefighters have been added per shift.


More callouts to non-fire incidents such as rescues and car accidents, since 2003, leave less resources and staff to fight fires.


To May 2016 ACT Fire and Rescue workers have put in more than 50,000 hours of overtime.

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Has the ACT Government kept their promises?

Last year, with your help we secured several important promises from the ACT Government to protect Canberra’s future.

We’ve created this easy to use Promise Tracker so you can see what progress has been made, and where more work needs to be done.

Fire Fighters
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About the campaign

We have reached a crisis point in ACT Fire and Rescue. The ACT Government is proposing plans and actions which will undermine our capacity to protect the people of Canberra.

The ACT must have a properly resourced, staffed and planned fire defence. We’re calling on all MP’s and candidates at the coming election to make supporting ACT Fire and Rescue a key priority and protect the community that they are going to represent.

We must act now to rescue Canberra's future.

Burned out fire truck

6 Key Priorities:

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More firefighters

The ACT is not funding or training enough firefighters. We need more firefighters to replace those retiring, maintain effective fire response times and manage an increasing workload of non-fire incidents.

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Proper Equipment

We do not have enough specialised vehicles for firefighting in tall buildings or managing HAZMAT incidents or those requiring breathing apparatus.

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No part time stations

We cannot protect the new and growing suburbs around Chisholm and Molonglo with part time stations. Response times will suffer and lives will be put at risk. All Canberrans deserve the same level of protection.

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A Strong Organisation

The Government must not remove firefighters from the emergency command centre or remove firefighter training, Community Resilience and Human Resources from the direction and control of firefighters. Changes like these will leave Fire and Rescue a much weaker organisation, less capable of protecting Canberra.

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A Strong Plan

ACT major bushfire plans are in disarray. The intended bushfire abatement zone, created after 2003 has been rolled back leaving the outer suburbs of Canberra exposed and vulnerable.

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Ready for emerging threats

We are not ready for the increasing threats and challenges of terrorism, climate change, population growth and a rapid increase in non-fire rescue incidents such as rescues and car accidents.

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All priorities in detail here