Coffs Harbour MP calls on Government to support NSW Fire and Rescue

Broken down: A Bellingen Fire and Rescue vehicle sits idle after breaking down on the way to a job.

THE Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, has called on the NSW Government to provide more support to NSW Fire and Rescue (FRNSW) after revelations some of the organisation’s fleet is in disrepair.

His call followed a NSW Budget Estimates hearing, which he said showed the Government had cut $9 million from the FRNSW budget, compared to the agency’s allocation in the previous financial year under the former Coalition Government.

Sawtell Surf Lifesaving ClubAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

During the hearing, photographs were tabled of a broken down FRNSW vehicle at Bellingen, and a Woolgoolga vehicle with its brake lights held together by cable ties.

Mr Singh, who is the Opposition’s spokesman for Emergency Services, said the Government must take the issue seriously.

“The NSW community expects that the fire and rescue appliance is maintained to the highest level, and cable ties holding things together is simply not good enough,” Mr Singh said.

“We’ve seen a cut to the FRNSW budget of about $9 million based on what was spent by the Liberals and Nationals in the last financial year, with ongoing salary negotiations taking place with the Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU).

“Firefighters across NSW are incredibly dedicated and work tirelessly to protect residents.

“They deserve to be provided with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

“The Government needs to invest more in FRNSW, to ensure community safety isn’t compromised.”

The Opposition spokesman for Police and Emergency Services, Nationals MLC Wes Fang, quizzed Minister Jihad Dib on the ageing fleet during the budget estimates.

“We can’t afford to have a situation where Fire and Rescue NSW are handed duct tape and cable ties to keep their trucks together because they are not being funded properly by the Minns Labor Government,” Mr Fang said.

Mr Dib rejected the claims, saying the size of the FRNSW fleet meant there would always be some maintenance issues.

He said the Government had a fleet replacement plan that prioritised those vehicles in most need.

Mr Dib also said funding to FRNSW had actually increased by 15.5 percent in 2023-24.

The apparent $9 million reduction was due to the agency overspending its allocation in 2022-23, through one-off payments related to floods and other natural disasters.

By Mike HELY

Cable ties hold the brake lights of this Woolgoolga Fire and Rescue vehicle in place.

One thought on “Coffs Harbour MP calls on Government to support NSW Fire and Rescue

  1. Gurmesh Misleading the area again, the $90 million is a drop in the ocean of the $130 million over time bill on his watch. This government are far from perfect but lets not forget when they come to government we had no more firefighters in a state that had grown by more that one million people.
    Lets not forget under his watch, Coffs Harbour’s Aerial pump was broken down and not available for 2.5 years, and he had no problem with Sawtell fire station being closed down. Don’t forget they were in government for 12 years and Bellingen’s 19 years old truck and Woolgoolga’s damaged truck didnt just start happening in the last 12 months its been due to 13 years of neglect.

Leave a Reply