In January, in Australia, the emergency services are typically working hard planning and preparing to prevent and protect us from harm, but Barry O’Farrell and his NSW liberal government have been hard at work slashing budgets despite his government being in surplus .
Those cuts have impacted on all public services including the emergency services – ambos, police and firies. There have been no new classes through the Goulburn Police Academy for the past six months, demand for paramedic services has been increasing by 4% per annum but there has been no increase in staffing levels to match it and Fire & Rescue have to find $7.6M in employee-related savings in 2012/13 and rising to a massive $64M cumulatively over the next 4 years.
That means less staffing -either temporarily or permanently – which means less services and ironically, a reduction in economic growth. We know, for example, that making
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