Volunteers Emergency Services | May 10, 2017

Last stand for CFA as Andrews tries to force split

Daniel Andrews has ramped up his attack on CFA volunteers with plans to split Victoria’s biggest volunteer organisation.

While the rest of Victoria celebrates Volunteer Week and the generous contribution of CFA volunteers, Labor’s secret cabinet committee designed to tear apart the CFA put its proposal to Cabinet on Monday.

The proposal attempts to split the CFA into a country volunteer-only body which would see thousands less volunteers protecting Victoria.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is urging CFA volunteers and supporters across the region to fight the split.

“This is the last stand for the CFA and we must unite to stop Labor from tearing the organisation apart,” Ms Kealy said.

After Black Saturday, Daniel Andrews described volunteers across our region as ‘extraordinary people’. He told Parliament: ‘Words cannot properly reflect our gratitude for their efforts and admiration of their commitment and their dedication’.

“It was only eight years ago that CFA volunteers were being praised as heroes after Black Saturday. Now Daniel Andrews wants to get rid of them,” Ms Kealy said.

“Splitting the CFA to hand over suburban areas to career firefighters would devastate the organisation’s ability to mobilise large numbers of emergency personnel to large scale fires in rural areas, putting the safety of our local communities at risk,” she said.

News of the split comes after $47 million was cut from the Emergency Management budget in last week’s State Budget and the government’s target shows an expected reduction of more than 3,500 volunteers.

“This is further evidence Daniel Andrews is more determined to destroy the CFA, protect his union mates and put Victorian families at risk,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Nationals will always stand up for CFA volunteers and we must all now stand together to protect the volunteers who protect us,” she said.

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