Firies given 14 days to explain

FOUR Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers from Byfield have been given 14 days to explain why they refused to drive five hours to fight a fire in Springsure.

The rangers, who were called to a meeting in Rockhampton yesterday, were involved in the effort to control fires in Mount Archer National Park, says Australian Workers' Union organiser Peter Ward.

Mr Ward repeated an earlier promise that if the men were disciplined over the matter there would be action in support of them across the state.

He said they were not available to travel to Springsure for personal reasons and should not have to explain their decision.

“Instead of persecuting the people who fight fires, the Department should be striving to get more resources to help those rangers working on the front-line,” he said.

“With suspicion that many recent fires in Central Queensland were the result of arsonists, the Government should be targeting the people who light fires, not the ones who fight them.”

A spokesman for the service denied that the four had been disciplined.

“This is not disciplinary action, but merely an open and transparent way of resolving a staffing issue,” he said.



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