Fire budget cut could close stations

THE O'Farrell Government's plan to cut $70million from the NSW Fire and Rescue budget could force the temporary closure of stations across the state.

On Thursday, Fire Brigade Employees Union General Secretary Jim Casey said Fire and Rescue management had been left with "no choice" but to temporarily close stations as early as next month in an effort to minimise wage costs.

He said residents in regional NSW would have to wait longer for help to arrive and went as far to suggest homes could "burn down" under the cuts.

"Every firefighter, from the commissioner down, is horrified at these cuts, which will have a devastating effect on community safety," Mr Casey said.

"The reality is that no one will know if their station has been temporarily shut down due to these budget cuts. Everyone is at risk."



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