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Estall nightmare nearly over

Labour
2000 web siteThe Government is set to remove the final vestiges of former Fire Service Commissioner Roger Estall, Labour internal affairs spokesperson Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard said that the Government will announce this afternoon that return the fire service levy to the level it was at when Mr Estall took over as Fire Service Commissioner in 1997. The money is needed to pay extensive legal bills and costs from several Employment and Appeal Court losses the Commission has sustained.

"The Fire Service is finally waking up from the Roger Estall nightmare," Trevor Mallard said.

"Along with the admission from the Government that reducing the number of firefighters on fire fighters to three would compromise public safety, this is an important breakthrough.

"With Roger Estall at the helm, the fire service epitomised the decline in core public services which the National Government has encouraged. His move to cut the fire service levy was more about helping his mates in the insurance industry rather than any consideration for the safety of New Zealanders.

"If National had not reversed this decision, it certainly would have been a priority for Labour in government.

"Labour is now looking forward to a fresh start where we can start rebuilding public trust and confidence in the fire service," Trevor Mallard said.

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