Minister leaves burning questions unanswered

“The failure of the emergency radio system in the Pinery bushfire placed Country Fire Service volunteers and the public at an unacceptable risk,” said Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Duncan McFetridge.

“It is scandalous that the Weatherill Government was alerted to the problems with the emergency radio system after the Sampson Flat bushfire but has failed to upgrade the system.

“The Weatherill Government has double and tripled the Emergency Services Levy tax on ordinary households but is yet to provide the CFS with a communications system that works in a bushfire.

“Having gouged hundreds of millions of dollars through the savage increases in the ESL the Weatherill Government has pocketed that money rather than investing in our emergency services.

“This is just the latest disaster for embattled Emergency Service Minister Tony Piccolo.

“Earlier this year Minister Piccolo was forced to abandon his ill-conceived plans to restructure the CFS, MFS and SES.

“That was despite the fact emergency services volunteers had been warning Minister Piccolo for months that his plans to restructure the CFS, SES and MFS was a recipe for disaster.

“Minister Piccolo was also forced to do a backflip on the Weatherill Government’s refusal to provide adequate cancer compensation for CFS volunteers.

“After a trifecta of failures Mr Piccolo will be in the firing line when the inevitable cabinet reshuffle occurs.”