Media Release: More for police, less for firefighters – budget priorities all wrong

The NSW budget today contains a sting in the tail for the RFS who fought for communities around NSW in the 19/20 bushfires with a $195 million budget cut representing about a quarter of their total budget. There is also a cut of $48 million from the Fire and Rescue NSW Budget.

At the same time the NSW Police Force continues to expand with a whopping $207 million dollar increase. The agency now has a $4.2 billion expense budget and an additional $550 million capital budget. 

Greens MP David Shoebridge said: 

“It’s extraordinary that in the middle of a health crisis and a climate crisis this Government still thinks the answer is more police. 

“We now see how the Government has pocketed the $52 million in donations from Celeste Barber and used it cut what they pay to the RFS for the budget. 

“People around NSW want a Rural Fire Service that is properly resourced and ready to help, and instead it faces a budget cut. 

“Year on year the Coalition increases police powers and budgets, yet it refuses to acknowledge climate change or properly fund firefighting services. 

“Dealing with climate change and keeping us safe in the upcoming fire season must be a higher priority than more police and jails. 

“Rebuilding after COVID and after the bushfires means taking climate change seriously, yet the Treasurer didn’t mention it once in his speech. 

“The Government needs to grow a backbone and stand up to the Police Association to allocate public funding where it is actually needed,” Mr Shoebridge said. 

http://budget.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/7.%20Stronger%20Communities%20cluster-BP4%20Budget%202020-21.pdf