Volunteer firefighters strike over funding shortage

Volunteer firefighters strike over funding shortage

24 May 2011

published by www.abc.net.au   

Australia — Bushfires NT says residents in a community south of Darwin are in no danger despite local firefighters going on strike.

Officers at the Acacia Hills Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade are on strike until further notice, saying they do not have enough resources for the fire season.

Steve Sutton of Bushfires NT says he sympathises with the officers and is trying to resolve the issue quickly.

“Neighbouring brigades have agreed to step up and if necessary reallocate resources to provide security to the community in the Acacia Hills area,” he said.

Territorians have already been warned they may be facing what could be the “worst bushfire season ever”.

A record wet season has created huge fuel loads across the Territory.

The volunteer brigade’s public officer, Ian Quin, says they do not have enough resources and will not be fighting most fires.

“They won’t be attended by our brigade, it will be emergencies only in our community,” he said.

Mr Sutton says the brigade receives roughly the same amount of funding as all other units.

“We’ve got 21 brigades and they have all got a pretty tough time of it,” he said.

Bushfires NT says it is meeting with the officers and the NT Government about the issue.

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