Calliope fire levy decided soon

By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au

SOME Calliope residents could find out before Christmas if they have to pay $25 a year towards the rural fire service.

Calliope Rural Fire Brigade (CRFB) treasurer Jo Hill said it was now up to council to vote on the mat- ter after a community meeting this week.

'About 26 people attended and there was overwhelming support,' Ms Hill said.

'We discussed the need to transfer the cost to the community. The motion came and it was passed from the floor to impose a $25 fire levy.

'That will go to council's meeting on Monday and we should find out by Christmas.'

Ms Hill said if the proposal was accepted it would not take effect un- til the next rates notices were issued.

'That's 12 months down the track so until then we will have to rely on fundraising,' she said.

Ms Hill said she hoped the money collected from 570 residents in the CRFB's area could go to replacing the brigade's 1982 model truck.

Under legislation passed a decade ago residents in other areas pay fire levies.

The government then subsidises them to buy equipment.

This means the CRFB could buy a new truck worth $70,000 for $16,000 with funds raised from collecting the levy.

Ms Hill said without a vehicle there could be no service at all.

'It'll get through the year but it will be taken off the road by the gov- ernment because they have a 20-year life by law,' Ms Hill said.

She said the truck could potential- ly be called to save any of the resi- dents involved in paying the levy, and urged them to think of it as 'cheap insurance'.



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