NEARLY $300,000 will be cut from the Country Fire Authority’s budget in the Grampians area as part of statewide austerity measures, according to a leaked CFA memo.
The United Firefighters Union (UFU) said the measures planned for the Grampians include cuts to training, not filling non-essential positions and issuing recruits with second-hand protective clothing.
The union said it received the leaked memo from the state opposition and the Grampians cutbacks were an example of the $41 million that was being taken from the CFA’s budget across the state.
More than 1000 firefighters and support staff from both the CFA and Metropolitan Fire Service will rally against the cuts in Melbourne next Thursday.
The state government said the cuts would not affect frontline firefighting, but the union said they had already had an impact on public safety.
The union said Thursday’s rally was just the start of its campaign to save members’ conditions and defend the fire service.
UFU secretary Peter Marshall said more than 1000 people were expected to join a march from Trades Hall to Parliament House, including paid and volunteer firefighters and support staff from throughout the state.
Mr Marshall said the cuts were an insult to the memory of the 173 people who died on Black Saturday in 2009 and went against the recommendations of the bushfires