Firies say people will die from cuts

PEOPLE will die if the State Government goes ahead with its promised cuts, a firefighters union official has warned.

He made the claims yesterday, a day after a Sunshine Coast football clubhouse burnt to the ground.

The Government will slash funding to four fire-prevention programs, essential to the safety of children and residents.

Cuts also have been made to firefighters' wages, stripping full-time workers of all award conditions.

United Firefighters Union Queensland will await permission to strike on Monday after the cuts were announced this week.

State secretary John Oliver said lives would be lost because of the planned cost cuts "unless some sanity prevails and the Premier sits down to hear our concerns".

"They have just lumped a raft of demands on table and said, 'You will accept them and this how you will do your work in the future'," Mr Oliver said.

"What they don't see is that the community will be the real victims of this."

Funding to the Fight Fire Fascination, Roads, Attitudes and Action Planning, Juvenile Arson Offender and Motor Vehicle Offenders programs were all cut in the 2012-2013 Budget.

The educational programs were established by urban firefighters as a pro-active approach to fire prevention.

Caloundra Fire Station acting station officer Bevan McPherson said the programs were important to prevent young people from lighting fires.

"Firefighters have been able to be pro-active about being fire safe and that is why we have had such a good track record," Mr McPherson said.

"There have been many fire deaths prevented because of these programs.

"Cutting funding does not make sense when the real cost of fire to families and the community would be never-ending."

A spokesman for Police and Emergency Service Minister Jack Dempsey confirmed the funding cuts.

He said the department had put forward the cuts on "non-essential" community programs.

"The aim is to be able to put this money back to frontline services," the spokesman said.

"The fire service still has a lot of programs out there, providing a substantial number of public education campaigns and advice."


The Fire fighter championships and road crash rescue challenge have also been cut.

Fight Fire Fascination

Roads, Attitudes and Action Planning, Juvenile Arson Offender

Motor Vehicle Offenders programs.



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