Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, has called the latest budget cuts to Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) deplorable and is urging the NSW Government to reconsider its stance on the use of retained fire fighters.

In a recent Notice of Motion raised in Parliament, Ms Watson has called on the NSW Government to immediately reverse cuts to FRNSW.

Under new proposed risk based protocols, FRNSW would send out fewer trucks in response to automatic fire alarms resulting in a significant reduction in the use of retained firefighters.

These new protocols will not only impact FRNSW response times but the employment of retained, or part-time, firefighters in NSW.

“This proposal by the NSW Government is nothing but a veiled budget cut to our front line services that will inject $20 million back into in the Government’s coffers but will seriously jeopardise the safety of our communities,” said Ms Watson.

“I have recently met with retained firefighters from my electorate, who have contacted me, obviously very concerned about these budget cuts and how they will impact on their duties with FRNSW.”

“The NSW Government should not put the integrity of our front line emergency services at risk just to save a quick buck. People’s lives and livelihoods are on the line.”

“I find it a pretentious slap in the face to our local firies to see the Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant and Kiama MP, Gareth Ward, parading for photos at Dapto Station during this week’s new truck handover, seemingly ignoring the fact that $20 million will be gutted from FRNSW’s budget,” said Ms Watson.


9 March 2017