Commisioner rules out firies replacement rumours

COFFS HARBOUR-based Nationals politician Melinda Pavey has thrown cold water on plans to replace paid NSW Fire Brigades firefighters with Rural Fire Service volunteers.

Mrs Pavey, the Opposition's Emergency Services spokeswoman, said this was an 'act of desperation' by the Government.

“The Daily Telegraph reported today on secret plans being considered by the NSW Labor Government for the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast to replace paid professional firefighters with volunteers, which may result in more lives and homes being put at risk,” she said.

“This is nothing short of a penny-pinching exercise by the Labor Government. The safety of the people of NSW should not be undermined because of the incompetence of State Labor.

“This is a ruthless attempt to cut an emergency service from the people of NSW, when they deserve the greatest possible protection.”

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner, Greg Mullins, yesterday ruled out 'any suggestion that RFS volunteers will replace full-time firefighters'.

“It appears to be a matter that has been misconstrued by the Fire Brigade Employees Union on the basis of draft minutes from a joint fire service meeting last year,” he said.

“The Fire Services Joint Standing Committee today categorically ruled out that there was any such proposal, and the FBEU welcomed the resolution and announcement.”

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