Moe CFA operations unaffected by truck debacle

OPERATIONS at the Moe fire station have not been affected by an unregistered fire truck, which came into public spotlight last week.

Speaking to The Express on Thursday, Country Fire Authority regional director Gippsland Mark Reid said there was only one truck at Moe which was unregistered, but the problem would be rectified as soon as possible.

“Moe has at least two operational vehicles, so it does not impact on our ability to respond; we made sure we put on additional vehicles from other brigades if we needed to,” Mr Reid said, adding he was not aware how long the truck had been unregistered for.

“This is the first time something of this sort has happened; across the state, 21 trucks were identified, but upon further investigation, half the trucks (were found to have been) disposed of and replaced by new trucks.

“We have a fleet of 2500 trucks; CFA have an arrangement with VicRoads to register the trucks and I believe that’s where a glitch could have occurred.”

Describing himself as “surprised and puzzled” when the news emerged of the unregistered trucks, Mr Reid said an investigation was underway to determine what the cause was.

He said because CFA trucks did not display registration labels the same way commercial vehicles did, it was difficult to determine the respective trucks’ registration expiry dates.

“We will fix it to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Reid said, adding the registration of all the CFA vehicles was centralised.

It was reported last week more than a dozen fire stations were down a truck because of a bureaucratic bungle resulting in the lapse of registration of 20 vehicles.

In addition to Moe, trucks at Marysville and Fiskville will be offline until the paperwork is sorted out.

There was significant uproar from the United Firefighters Union and the state opposition.

Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan had told parliament he would take steps to rectify the situation if processes to register vehicles were found to be lacking.