Mr NORTHE (Morwell) — I am pleased that the Minister for Emergency Services is in the house because on 1 April last year the launch of Country Fire Authority (CFA) district 27 was made by the Labor government with much fanfare. CFA district 27 was an initiative of the coalition, which sought to bring together fire brigades within the Latrobe City municipality. The rationale for doing so was to underpin and recognise the uniqueness of the Latrobe Valley’s firefighting activities, particularly given some of our major industrial assets. Unfortunately what we have seen since the government’s launch last year is a lack of action that now sees the district short of the resources that were promised at the time. My understanding is that two brigade administrative support officers and one training officer were to be recruited to ensure adequate resourcing of the district; however, the government has still not provided these important resources which would support all brigades in the Latrobe region.
It is simply not good enough that the government is providing only token support for our firefighters, who have done an incredible job in serving and protecting our community in very difficult circumstances in recent years. The failure to provide these resources to district 27 comes on top of the failure of the government to answer any of the 14 parts to the question on notice I have previously raised with the minister on behalf of my local firefighters. There has been scant detail and communication from the government on a whole range of areas, such as resourcing or indeed where and how a new Morwell fire station will be built. These are questions to which firefighters and the broader community deserve answers, and it is about time the Andrews government started communicating and delivering on these commitments.