Now that the Liberal Government has acknowledged the Tasmanian Fire Service budget is being stretched to the limit it must immediately resolve funding arrangements for the State Emergency Service.
“It’s a shame it has taken a rally by fire-fighters on the lawns of Parliament for Mr Hidding to finally admit the TFS cannot afford to fund the SES given cuts to its own budget,” Mr Green said.
“It is simply not good enough that there is still no sustainable funding model for the SES, which was previously funded from consolidated revenue through Tasmania Police
“This is blatant cost shifting in an attempt to disguise the impact the Government’s damaging budget cuts are having on essential services.
“The Liberals now have the money to properly fund both the TFS and the SES and that’s what they must do.
“Concerns remain that the State Fire Levy will be used to offset the TFS’s budget shortfall.
“Raising the fire levy is the only option the TFS has to increase its revenue.
“The levy is paid directly by ratepayers and collected by local councils and should be used explicitly for firefighting services.
“Mr Hidding says there is no sustainable funding model for the SES, which was previously funded from consolidated revenue through Tasmania Police, now that the TFS has taken it over.”
Bryan Green MP Labor Leader