Local CFA brigades have been left dismayed after being asked to reduce the volume of water carried on firefighting vehicles to overcome an engineering failure.
In State Parliament, The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has asked the Minister for Emergency Services to take immediate action to rectify the problem with certain ultralight vehicles problem and ensure the safety of volunteers and those they serve.
Mr O’Brien said he was aware the issue was affecting many CFA brigades across the state and that many, such as Loch Sport brigade, had contributed significant funds from local fundraising efforts to purchase these vehicles.
“The brigades have been provided with a Toyota Landcruiser that has weight-bearing issues in relation to the rear axle due to the gear needed to be carried on the back including a tank and various other bits and pieces.
“I was astounded to learn that the affected brigades have been told solutions include removing the tow bar and lockers on the back or, unbelievably, to reduce the water available in the tank from 550 litres to just 400 and completely drain the water tank if towing anything.
“A firefighting vehicle with no or reduced water is not much help! It is understandable that local brigades are upset and just want the ultralight vehicle that they were promised.”
Mr O’Brien said he had been made aware that there is an engineering solution which would fix the issue.
“I am seeking action from the Minister for Emergency Services to right this wrong without further costs to our local brigades.
“These volunteers have tirelessly fundraised and to have that money wasted on a vehicle that is not equipped to do the job it was intended for is a real slap in the face.
“This is an urgent matter that deserves urgent attention.”