Why fire services reform can’t be delayed

28 August

We can’t afford to wait for fire services reform.

Why is that? Because Melbourne is powering ahead to be one of the western world's fastest growing cities but the fire services system has not changed in 60 years.

The fire service boundaries are long overdue an update - 35 urban, heavily residential areas are still wrongly zoned as ‘country’ because the boundaries haven’t changed. Frankston, Cranbourne, Dandenong, and Geelong are just some of the growth hotspots missing out on the service they need.

The outdated system is letting down people in growth hotspots. Data from the CFA shows brigades are not meeting the 90% response time target for urban fires - for volunteer brigades, this target was met 56% of the time in 2016-17.

What’s most concerning is that, the growth boom in Victoria means the longer we delay reform, the more people and properties will be at risk.

Check out these startling statistics from the ABS:

●      Melbourne expanded by a massive 126,000 people in one year to reach 4.72 million by July 2016

●      The city is booming by 2.74% annually, well ahead of Sydney at 1.9%

●      It added almost one million people over the last decade — a 25.6% jump

●      Outer suburbs like Tarneit, Cranbourne East and Truganina were among five Melbourne growth hot spots in the national top 10

●      Regional cities are also booming - over the past decade, Ballarat has grown by 19.3% to 105,564, Bendigo by 18.3% to 95,587, Geelong by 15.1% to 192,393 and Shepparton by 12% to 64,888.

Rapid growth puts enormous pressure on local emergency services. It’s simple math - more people means more emergencies. Our outdated system is letting us down because it’s under too much pressure.

We need a modern fire services system. A system that can adapt to change and keep the people of Victoria safe into the future, as our state continues to grow.

We can’t afford to wait any longer for reform — we need your help to call for it now. Please send an automated email to your MLC here, asking for them to vote yes for reform, and a modern, safe system for the people of Victoria.