Diggers CFA tanker pledge

Diggers Rest CFA captain Tim Welshe. Photo: Shawn Smits

By Sumeyya Ilanbey

The Liberal Party has pledged $210,000 for the Diggers Rest CFA to purchase a new light tanker if the party wins next month’s state election.

Brigade captain Tim Welshe said the brigade’s current tanker was past its use-by date.

“A new tanker is phenomenally important, especially with the expansion of the township,” Mr Welshe said.

“The existing tanker is 13 years old … it has a refurbished body that is in excess of 35 years, so just beyond its use.

“The new light tanker, matched with the new technologies, give us a … greater safety operating margin.”

The brigade had raised $30,000 towards a new tanker. However, the Coalition’s promise to wholly fund a light tanker means the brigade will be able to use the $30,000 on other equipment, according to Mr Welshe.

The Liberal candidate for Sunbury, Cassandra Marr, said the light tanker would be small enough to fit down suburban streets.

“It is vital that the Diggers Rest CFA has the resources it needs to fight fires and protect our local communities when we need help the most, and this new pumper tanker will provide that,” she said.

“I fully support our volunteer firefighters in their efforts to keep our community safe.”

The opposition’s emergency services spokesman, Brad Battin, said: “Volunteers selflessly give their time to serve their community – they deserve the best possible equipment and the respect of their state government.”