Thursday, July 4, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Last Sounds Fire Station Sirens

Member for Burdekin Dale Last has sounded the alarm for the Minister to announce a new Fire and Rescue Station in Ayr as local firefighters and the community grapple with the impacts of a toxic compound contamination.
While Labor’s budget included $4 Million toward remediation works at the current station, Mr Last said the lack of funding for a new station meant a lack of certainty for staff and the wider community.
“It’s been more than five years since PFAS chemicals were detected in Ayr’s drinking water and more than four years since the Detailed Site Investigation found its origins were the historic use of firefighting foam,” Mr Last said. 
“In that time we have seen under-funded and half-baked solutions that has left our local firefighters unable to undertake essential training on site for years and a water project unable to progress past tender.”
“If the Minister isn’t in Ayr within the week with funding to provide the Ayr community with a new fire station, it will send a clear message to residents and local firefighters that Labor is happy to turn a blind eye to community safety when it comes to water and emergency services.”
Mr Last said with local firefighters now facing the potential of having to either operate on a construction site or be pushed into a temporary facility, it would be a slap in the face to firefighters and the local community for Labor to not announce funding for a new local fire station.
“These are the people we rely on to save lives and this community will not stand by while an arrogant government refuses to treat them with the respect they deserve,” Mr Last said.
“For years now we have been asking for the Detailed Site Investigation which we now know was provided to the Labor government in February 2020 at the latest.  Even if the remediation works started today it would be more than 4 ½ years that Labor has left staff exposed to carcinogenic compounds.”
“You have to ask what it will take for Labor to do the right thing by the community and our firefighters.  Do we have to wait until someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or for someone to die before this government actually lives up to its mantra of keeping Queenslanders safe?”

Opinion Piece contributed by Member for Burdekin Dale Last.

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