Claims city vulnerable when firies are off line
- ABLAZE: The Cessnock fire that sparked discussion.
GREENS councillor James Ryan said Cessnock had been “caught short” after a Morpeth fire crew had to travel to the city to fight a blaze because of the government’s decision to take some local stations “off line”.
Cr Ryan said local fire fighters had responded to a gas fire and could not make the call to a grass fire also in Cessnock.
He is disappointed NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins did not respond to an invitation to address Cessnock council last night to explain why Cessnock stations are regularly being taken off line (closed for a period of time).
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman said Commissioner Mullins did not receive an invitation to address last night’s council meeting.
However, documents shown to the Newcastle Herald yesterday reveal an invitation was sent to the commissioner on August 24.
The spokeswoman said a “follow up” letter was received on Tuesday, September 4, which did not allow time for the commissioner, or a representative, to make arrangements to attend the meeting.
“Cessnock council has been advised that the commissioner is happy to attend a council meeting at a later date and is waiting on advice from the council,” the spokeswoman said.
“Commissioner Mullins has previously stated that claims of fire station closures are incorrect and such claims are misleading the council and the community.”
Cr Ryan said Cessnock clearly does not have enough resources to ensure the community’s safety.