Rural Fire Service (RFS) members gathered at Bentley Fire Shed yesterday concerned that the wishes of locals are being overridden by the state.
The fireys from throughout the northern rivers have gathered to protest against the inappropriate use of the Bentley fire station.
Local RFS members in Bentley were recently overridden by the RFS hierarchy in a decision to th use of their station as a command centre for police posted to the region to dismantle the protest against the planned Metgasco exploratory mining operation at Bentley.
Volunteers across the north coast say they feel like they have lost their voice, with two members resigning and others threatening to follow suit.
‘We’re losing members over this, and we can’t afford to lose members,’ said RFS volunteer Paul Botting.
‘I would rather members protest than resign as I feel we provide an important service to the community,’ said concerned Larnook RFS member Glen Jones.
‘We are opposed to the use of the station for this purpose when it is there to protect the community and the land and we are opposed to the politicising of the RFS,’ said Jones. ‘And though we take this action reluctantly, we take it absolutely.’