Biggest boost for career firefighters in more than 50 years

  • 2024-25 State Budget to deliver $75.4 million package to bolster emergency services and protect the WA community
  • $23 million to employ 60 new career firefighters across the State
  • $8.6 million to support emergency services volunteers
  • Cook Labor Government delivering biggest expansion of career firefighters in more than 50 years

The Cook Labor Government will deliver an additional 60 Career Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) firefighters as part of the biggest boost to frontline emergency services operations in Western Australia in more than 50 years.

As part of the 2024-25 State Budget, the Cook Government will invest more than $75.4 million towards new firefighters and equipment, to protect the WA community from the threat of fires.

The $23 million investment to employ an additional 60 career firefighters means that during this term, the WA Labor Government has committed to the biggest expansion of CFRS personnel that Western Australia has seen in well over 50 years – a total of 132 extra career firefighters across regional and metropolitan WA.

The 60 additional career firefighters will support the State’s prevention, preparedness, response and recovery capabilities, as bushfire seasons become longer and more severe.

The emergency services package also includes:

  • $5.8 million to progress replacement of the Maddington and Armadale CFRS stations to enhance fire and emergency service delivery;
  • $4.9 million to deliver gender separate facilities at 10 CFRS stations; and
  • $2.8 million for post-incident hygiene facilities at 14 CFRS stations.

A further $8.6 million will support WA’s vitally important volunteer emergency services, including $4 million to upgrade communications equipment and road crash rescue equipment and funding for Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service stations in the South West.

The emergency services package includes more than $30 million announced last month for 34 new bushfire management staff and new firefighting equipment across the South West, Great Southern and Perth Hills through the Parks and Wildlife Service.

The WA Labor Government has a track record of investment in emergency services, with a $140 million commitment in November 2021 to upgrade emergency services vehicles and equipment throughout WA.

In addition, the Government provided funding for a Large Air Tanker (LAT) to be based in Western Australia permanently during the bushfire season for the first time.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“As we’ve seen over the past few months, our bushfire season is becoming longer, more severe and putting more lives and homes at risk.

“My Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to protect our community.

“This significant investment will ensure we have the resources we need on the ground to respond to fire and protect lives and homes from the threat of fires.”

As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Our emergency services have done an outstanding job in responding to more than 17,000 incidents since the start of October 2023, including bushfires, road crashes, structure fires and HAZMAT incidents.

“Community safety is a priority for our Government. These additional 60 career firefighters will mean this term has seen the biggest boost to our frontline fire and emergency services responders in more than 50 years, providing enhanced support to our State’s prevention, preparedness, response and recovery capabilities.

“We value and respect the role of our firefighters. This is why our Government is again stepping up to invest in providing modern facilities that are essential in a diverse workforce.”

As stated by Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM:

“Our career firefighters do an outstanding job. They are selfless and driven to protect communities from emergencies across our entire State.

“We welcome this significant investment from the State Government. We know that with a changing climate, natural disasters are becoming more prevalent, bushfire seasons are becoming longer and increasing in severity and structural fire and road crash rescue incidents are becoming far more complex.

“An extra 60 firefighters will help us meet these challenges – always with the best outcomes for the safety of all Western Australians at the forefront.”

/Public Release. View in full here.