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Emergency Services Minister fails to answer Bushfire Questions

Dec 03, 2015

 Sam Duluk MP
Member for Davenport
Emergency Services Minister fails to answer Bushfire Questions

The Emergency Services Minister, the Hon Tony Piccolo, shocked Parliament today when he deferred several questions regarding the Emergency Services Communication network to the Treasurer.  
Clearly struggling to respond to Opposition questions about the timing of his knowledge of black spots in the emergency radio network, and the Government’s failure to respond to longstanding CFS concerns, the Treasurer quickly stepped in to shelter his colleague.
Unfortunately for South Australians, the Treasurer didn’t have too many answers either.
Member for Davenport, Mr Sam Duluk MP, asked Minister Piccolo, “If he had made any representations to his Ministerial colleagues for South Australia to receive Commonwealth Government funding under the Mobile Black Spot Program for Bushfire prone areas in the Mitcham Hills area.”
Alarmingly, it was the Treasurer who replied, and only with an undertaking to simply “get back to him”.
“A working and reliable emergency radio system is essential.  The current radio blackspots are unacceptable and it is putting lives at risk,” said Mr Duluk.
Earlier this year the Weatherill Government refused to invest in the Federal Government mobile phone black spot program.  Every other state agreed to partner with the Australian Government to co-fund base stations in their jurisdictions.
 As a result only 11 of the 499 towers funded nationally were located in South Australia.
“The dangers faced by our CFS volunteers when fighting a bushfire are already acute – they should not be exposed to further danger by a failing emergency radio system,” said Mr Duluk.



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