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What is the real plan for volunteer brigades?

Lindsay Tisch National Party Internal Affairs Spokesman

16 February 2005

What is the real plan for volunteer brigades?

National's Internal Affairs spokesman, Lindsay Tisch, says the Minister responsible for the Fire Service must tell rural New Zealand the real plans he has for the national volunteer brigade fleet.

"This is a serious matter and Mark Burton must explain the difference between what he is saying about the proposals and what his own organisation is saying.

"He says claims of cuts are scaremongering and that the Fire Service's review of its 800-vehicle fleet is 'not an exercise in taking things away, it's an exercise in the proper forward management of the vehicles'.

"But the Fire Service's own Fleet Strategy paper says 'appliance relocations and disposals will be inevitable' as they work to get the fleet to the authorised size.

"Mr Burton must explain the difference. I would like to know and I am sure the 11,000 volunteer firefighters would like to know, too.

"It looks like another one of Labour's anti-rural policies. First it was the land access issue, then they attacked rural schools, then they tried to ground the rescue helicopters, and now they want to close the volunteer brigades," says Mr Tisch.

ENDS


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