Firefighters march to protest service cuts

Ballarat firefighters marched through Melbourne’s central business district yesterday in protest at state government cuts to fire services.

Ballarat City leading firefighter Brenton Smith said the group of 16 locals joined Morwell residents and hundreds of firefighters from across the state in the United Firefighters Union rally

He said the Napthine state government had slashed $60 million from the CFA and MFB and cancelled a commitment by the previous government to provide an extra 342 firefighters.

“That was potentially more firefighters on duty in Ballarat,” Mr Smith said.

“It was evident we need these now, considering we had to call on NSW firefighters due to understaffing in the Morwell fire.”

Residents from Morwell also joined to march from Trades Hall to Parliament House to protest the government’s handling of the Hazelwood mine fire.

“We don’t accept the treatment the Napthine government has given not only to us but the community,” Mr Smith said.

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