Ballarat based firefighting truck manufacturer SEM Fire and Rescue is to cut its workforce by 10.
The Courier reports that the job cuts are likely to be made as early as next week, with general manager Colin Baldock calling for redundancies from the company’s 80-strong workforce.
While he wouldn’t comment whether more redundancies are likely to follow these cuts, Baldock maintained that the future of SEM Fire and Rescue is not in doubt.
According to Baldock, the redundancies have been caused by the discontinuation of an order from the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
“All the state governments have reduced their spending on emergencies services,” Baldock said.
“Following discussions earlier in the year with CFA we were expecting continuation of the orders but that hasn’t happened.
“So we are ... altering our business to suit the work that we are expecting to see in the next financial year.”
According to a CFA spokeswoman, the past two years have been a time of major investment in Victorian made trucks.
“A $59.09 million has been invested in 179 frontline and support vehicles,” she said.
“This includes $42 million to manufacture 124 medium tankers, 89 of which were built at Ballarat and Sunshine.”
Responding to union claims that there have been CFA job and budget cuts, State Minister for Emergency Services Kim Wells said, “False union
claims of CFA job and budget cuts are in stark contrast to the Coalition government’s delivery record – the roll-out of 179 new CFA trucks since coming to office and the continuation of upgrading or replacing 250 CFA stations.”