Boost for regions' volunteer rural fire fighters
18 December 2019
The Fraser Coast Regional Council will bolster its support for the 28 rural fire brigades across the region.
“Council has decided to drop the rural fire levy and enter into a sponsorship agreement, worth almost a million dollars over three years,” Chairman of the Local Disaster Management Group, Cr Rolf Light said.
The sponsorship agreement, which will be reviewed in three years, brings financial certainty to the brigades by clearly outlining the funds Council will contribute to their operation each year.
“As the region has grown and more areas have been classified as urban and the number of properties classified as rural has decreased, funds for the brigades has decreased. Funds would have continued to decrease if this initiative was not put in place.
“This will ensure that the brigades are ready for action.
“The volunteers’ work to battle bushfires has been outstanding during the dry times in the past few years.
“They are also very important for conducting hazard reduction burns to reduce the severity of bushfires, community education, they provide back up for the urban brigades and a helping hand when we are cleaning up after floods and natural disasters.”
The sponsorship arrangement was developed by a working group comprised of rural fire brigade volunteers, Queensland Rural Fire Service and Council.
Under the deal, Council will contribute:
- $330,000 in 2020/2021;
- $332,500 in 2021/2022, and;
- $335,000 in 2022/2023.
The distribution of the funds will be overseen by a committee comprised of Council, Queensland Rural Fire Service and the Rural Fire Brigade Area Finance Committees.