Victoria’s fire services pay the price for Labor’s mismanagement

Liberal Party Victoria

Victorians continue to pay for Labor’s mismanagement as new figures confirm the performance and financial position of Victoria’s lead fire services agency continues to deteriorate.

Tabled in Parliament today, Fire Rescue Victoria’s (FRV) 2022-23 Annual Report has confirmed:

  • FRV suffered a $170.3 million operating deficit across the last financial year, following a $132.5 million loss in 2021-22.
  • The percentage of Emergency Medical Response incidents responded to within the benchmark time of 9 minutes and 12 seconds decreased by 0.5 percentage points from 93.8 per cent to 93.3 per cent.
  • The percentage of Structure Fires responded to within the benchmark time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds decreased by 4.5 percentage points from 88.2 per cent to 83.7 per cent.
  • Employee expenses have increased by 5.4 per cent from $842.36 million to $887.87 million between 2021-22 and 2022-23, including an almost 24 per cent increase in travelling and meal allowances to $20.6 million.

Furthermore, the annual report has revealed FRV suffered a cyberattack in December 2022, which “caused significant disruptions to [FRV’s] technology systems and prevented [FRV] from retrieving some data for [its] annual report” and FRV “remains unsure whether the malicious third-party is in possession of stolen data.”

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Richard Riordan, said: “Victorians continue to pay for Labor’s mismanagement of our state’s fire services.

“Victoria needs a sustainable fire services agency that delivers for local communities, but it is increasingly clear that Labor’s financial mismanagement is impacting the performance of this critical frontline emergency service.”

Shadow Treasurer, Brad Rowswell, said: “Labor simply cannot manage money and FRV has now burnt through $300 million in its first two years of operation.

“With Victoria’s debt already at record highs, the dire financial position of FRV raises the very real prospect of a tax hike to the Fire Services Levy at a time Victorians can least afford it.”

/Public Release. View in full here.