The failure to deliver ten new urban firefighting vehicles by Christmas is another broken promise by the McGowan Labor Government which places firefighters and communities at risk this fire season.
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Martin Aldridge MLC said the McGowan Labor Government had promised to deliver ten new Urban Pumps by 25th December 2022, however only four appliances have been delivered to date.
“In June, the Minister for Emergency Services made a commitment that there would be ten new Urban Pumps for Career Fire and Rescue Services on the road by Christmas Day,” Mr Aldridge said.
“It’s really disappointing to learn at the end of January that just four of those trucks have been delivered to metropolitan fire stations.”
Mr Aldridge said it was alarming to discover that none of the new fire trucks were presently operational due to technical faults.
“A safety incident at a fire last week saw firefighters placed at risk and unable to discharge water due to a pump failure on a brand new fire truck,” he said.
“There is no greater concern to firefighters and the community than the failure of a pump on a fire truck. It has the potential to put firefighters lives at risk and leave homes and businesses unprotected during emergencies.”
The discovery of this fault, and reports of other quality concerns, has seen all four of the new fire trucks taken offline during the peak of the high threat period.
“It has now come to light the United Professional Firefighters Union raised quality concerns last year with DFES, and it is concerning that DFES still allowed these trucks to be deployed without ensuring they were fit for purpose and safe to use,” Mr Aldridge said.
Mr Aldridge said the Minister for Emergency Services needed to explain why the new appliances were not delivered by Christmas as promised.
“The Minister needs to confirm how many of these Urban Pumps have been delivered since his commitment back in June last year, and we need to know what is wrong with these trucks and what he’s going to do to fix them,” Mr Aldridge said.
“If the Minister was aware these new fire trucks contained safety faults and required more time on the factory floor, he should have come clean about this and delayed the rollout of these vehicles, instead of rushing them out the door.
“Not only is it disappointing to see the slow rollout and now recall of these faulty trucks, it’s also dangerous to both the firefighters and the communities they’re trying to defend.”