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Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Page: 10366

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (13:56): During the 2011 floods in South-East Queensland and the cyclones in Far North Queensland, the men and women of the Rural Fire Service assisted people, saved lives and saved property. Then on 11 September—of all days—the Campbell Newman LNP state government virtually destroyed the Rural Fire Service in regional and rural Queensland. There has been a 57 per cent reduction in uniformed positions in rural operations. The following centres are being closed, and not a word have I heard from the LNP members opposite from Queensland: Roma district office, Barcaldine-Emerald district office, Innisfail district office, Maryborough district office, Charters Towers-Cloncurry district office, Cairns regional office, Maryborough regional office, Toowoomba regional office and Brisbane regional office. They are all being destroyed, closed.

Jack Dempsey, the Minister for Police and Community Safety; Jeff Seeney, the Deputy Premier; and Campbell Newman, the Premier, promised that they would support the Rural Fire Service. Rural fire brigade volunteers are the backbone of a resilient community, but those opposite have betrayed them. There has not been a word in support of the rural fire brigades from those opposite. Stand up for them and stand up against Campbell Newman and the LNP state government in Queensland that is destroying regional and rural Queensland. That is what you should be doing. It is a shame and a disgrace that you are silent over there. (Time expired)