Independent Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has written to the NSW Premier outlining his opposition to the proposed merger of the Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service.
“As Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, I fought hard to keep the State Emergency Services Headquarters in the Illawarra. Today’s announcement raises more questions than answers,” Mr Ward said.
“Volunteers are already wrapped up on red tape which is discouraging people to get involved. Today’s announcement will mean more paperwork and less lifesaving work.
“I’m also concerned that today’s announcement may mean the loss of jobs from our region. The NSW Government promised no regional job cuts; how will today’s announcement impact on regional jobs located at the State Emergency Services Headquarters in Wollongong?
“Whilst any effort to provide more coordinated and meaningful natural disaster responses to local communities should be commended, our volunteers should not be shouldering greater administrative burdens because of proposed job cuts by the NSW Government.
“My electorate has been heavily impacted by floods and fires. Claims that cutting resources that support frontline volunteers will someone ‘help’ is the silliest thing I have ever heard! This needs to be explained.
“Today I have written to the NSW Premier to outline my position. I have also started a petition opposing the move,” Mr Ward concluded.
The petition can be accessed by visiting: https://www.garethwardmp.com.au/rfs_ses_merger
MEDIA: Kiama Electorate Office 02 4232 1082