And in that time very little progress has been made towards implementing the promises made during the 2016 election campaign. The time has come for the ACT Government to step up and fulfil its promise to Canberra residents safe from fire threats by allocating the funds required for these changes in the next budget. We are calling on the Government to urgently fund:
In the middle of the bushfire period, resignations, retirements and long-term injuries and illness mean that ACT Fire and Rescue is still around 40 firefighters short of its funded establishment. The Government's planned recruitment college of 18 firefighters, due to graduate in mid 2018 is insufficient to fix the problem. With around a third of firefighters approaching retirement, substantial recruitment is required in 2018 - 19 to restore firefighter numbers.
Our single aging aerial firefighting appliance The Bronto continues to be regularly off the road for repairs, often leaving Canberra with no capacity to fight fires in tall buildings. The Government committed to expand the Fire and Rescue fleet with a new aerial pumper appliance, yet the ESA Commissioner told Legislative Assembly Estimates in June 2017 that would be "probably longer" than two years until it was delivered. Funding for this appliance is needed in this budget if the Government is to deliver its 2016 election commitment.
We are calling on the ACT Government to address these and further issues, such as the construction of a planned city fire station and the purchase of safe firefighting uniforms in this year's Territory Budget.
We need your help. Rescue Canberra's future by sending your message to Andrew Barr and all Government MPs, asking them to deliver their commitments now.