Labor recognises the critical importance of ensuring that our emergency management services have the training they need to keep our community – and those that protect our community – safe.
A Shorten Labor Government will reopen the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) in the Macedon Ranges, with an initial injection of $1.5 million to re-establish that Institute as a new centre for excellence to train Australian emergency services personnel.
Last year the Abbott-Turnbull Government closed the AEMI, which for over 50 years has served Australians by providing the senior members of our emergency management services with cutting-edge training.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government claimed that it was shifting the AEMI’s operations to Canberra in order to save money, but it turns out that the centre was relocated to Brisbane in an attempt to sandbag Liberal seats there. This decreased Victoria’s capacity to train its emergency service volunteers.
The Institute has an even more vital role to play today, as climate change drives an increase in both the severity and frequency of bushfires in the southern Australian States. With escalating fire conditions it is vital that our volunteer and professional fire fighters have their training and skills regularly updated through intensive residential courses run by fire fighting and emergency management experts.
The local community was also deeply concerned about the closure of the AEMI last year because dozens of people who worked there, and who had deep roots in the local community, were faced with the cruel ultimatum from the Abbott-Turnbull Government to either move interstate or face redundancy.
Reopening the Institute at Mount Macedon will provide local jobs and ensure the region continues to benefit from the expert knowledge taught by the AEMI.