Minister called on by Burra farmer to lease old Country Fire Service trucks

A South Australian farmer has written to the state government proposing that old Country Fire Service trucks be leased to farmers.

Burra farmer Adrian Earle said this would allow farmers to be better equipped for fighting bushfires in the region.

"Farmers respond quite well to fires with their own equipment, but quite often it's just a 400 or 600 litre tank and a Honda pump in the back of a ute, and it is just not as capable as the bigger machines that the CFS operate," Mr Earle said.

"A fire truck is more capable than what the average farmer puts forward."

Old Country Fire Service trucks are sold at the state government auction, but Mr Earle said the expense is too much for many farmers.

"I can't justify buying one and I am sure most people are in the same boat," he said.

Mr Earle called on Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Corey Wingard, suggesting that old Country Fire Service trucks be made more available to farmers.

"There should be some means of keeping these things in the community," Mr Earle said.

"Instead of the trucks being sold and lost to the community, why not have farmers take the responsibility for them to be maintained and used in the event of an emergency.

"I think it is something that is pretty easy to implement.

"It has minimal expense to the public and the cost benefit ratio would be worthwhile.

"I have spoken to a handful of farmers who have said they would happily take on a fire truck because they are going to fires anyway."

Farmers use their own equipment and own time, so why not give them more capable equipment?

Burra Farmer Adrian Earle

In his response, Mr Wingard advised Mr Earle that the sale of old Country Fire Service vehicles helps to purchase new ones.

Country Fire Service operational infrastructure and logistics director Lee Watson said the old trucks are sold at through the state government auction and can be purchased by private landholders.

"Currently decommissioned Country Fire Service appliances are sold through the state government auction, with the income reinvested in maintaining or purchasing replacement trucks and firefighting units," Mr Watson said.

"Private landholders are able to purchase old Country Fire Service trucks through this process.

"The Country Fire Service's core business is ensuring we have appropriate firefighting equipment for our volunteers to respond to incidents in the community."

This story Farmer calls for old trucks first appeared on The Transcontinental.

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