M'boro Rural Fire offices saved

PEOPLE power has saved nine jobs in Rural Fire offices in Maryborough, at least for the time being.

The Maryborough Regional and District offices, which organise training and support for rural firefighters, received a stay of execution from Minister for Police and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey.

Six full-time and three part-time jobs were in peril.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland chief executive Justin Choveaux thanked the public for immediately voicing its opposition to the office-closure plan.

"Everyone could see it was a bad plan," he said, praising the minister for yesterday's "very sensible decision".

Under the plan, part of cost cuts handed down in the State Budget on Tuesday, the two offices in Maryborough were to close next March, after the bushfire season.

Now, the government will look at other options. "We will still be looking at ways to cut red tape, but we will wait and see what other options the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service puts forward," a spokesman for Mr Dempsey said.

Mr Choveaux said several meetings occurred on Wednesday afternoon and yesterday morning, and after they had ended, Mr Dempsey told the Rural Fire Brigades Association that he would not approve the closures recommended by the Fire and Rescue Service until he was satisfied they were in the best interests of all parties, subject to further reviews.

Mr Choveaux said the further reviews would take place next year.



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