The upcoming State Budget will be riddled with red ink, but targeted investments must still be made in critical areas like regional Victoria’s emergency services.
After bending to the unions and gutting the CFA, the least Daniel Andrews can do is fund safe, modern facilities to support local emergency personnel.
In the state’s east, the Lang Lang CFA station has been failing building inspections and is unsafe for local volunteers. The Metung CFA and the Lakes Entrance CFA are both waiting for urgently needed government funding to build new stations.
In the state’s north, the Myrtleford CFA and the Yarrawonga CFA need funding for urgent upgrades.
Those are just some examples of the investment needed to maintain a functional and professional CFA.
Victorians know our other local emergency services are also in urgent need of funding.
Kilmore needs a new SES station, and the Heathcote community needs funding to build a co-located CFA and SES facility.
We already have unacceptable ambulance wait times plaguing our health system.
Regional Victorians know what it is to face major flooding events, bushfires, and other disasters.
With cuts to community health initiatives already announced by Daniel Andrews, Victorians will be more vulnerable than ever and investment in emergency services is vital.
The Premier promised Victorians that we could have it all at last year’s election. In the first budget since that election, he has proven that Victorians can’t.
Daniel Andrews has lost control of Victoria’s credit card.
But cuts to front line services are unacceptable and more investment to support regional emergency services must be a priority.