MEREWETHER fire station was one of many across NSW temporarily closed last Wednesday.
Wallsend State MP Sonia Hornery said the move was concerning for Merewether residents as the bushfire season had started.
Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said 20 fire trucks across the state were temporarily offline while 17 were 'business as usual' in an arrangement agreed with the Fire Brigade Employees' Union in 2008.
Three other trucks were taken offline as part of a new arrangement cleared by the Industrial Relations Commission, Commissioner Mullins said.
Earlier this month the Industrial Relations Commission agreed to allow full-time stations to go offline temporarily when there were staff vacancies, after overtime costs ballooned.
Commissioner Mullins said the stations that were temporarily closed could have easily been covered by other full-time crews.