Emergency Services | September 07, 2016

CFA volunteers impacted by ‘destructive and divisive’ EBA

Evidence provided to a parliamentary fire season inquiry has contradicted the Andrews Labor Government’s claims country volunteers would not be impacted by the proposed CFA EBA.

Former CFA CEO Lucinda Nolan appeared before a parliamentary inquiry into fire season preparedness yesterday.

Ms Nolan described the proposed EBA as ‘destructive and divisive’ and said it would not only impact paid firefighters, but the ‘entire organisation’.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP said Victoria’s CFA volunteers should be focused on defending the state in the upcoming fire season – now just weeks away – not defending themselves against an attack from the State Government.

“We have seen further evidence this EBA will have a destructive and divisive impact on the entire CFA,” Ms Kealy said.

“Daniel Andrews has chosen to ignore growing concerns this EBA will impact volunteers’ ability to operate effectively and independently.

“CFA volunteers must not become a casualty to this union deal.

“It is time Daniel Andrews actually listened to volunteers and worked through their concerns,” she said.

Ms Nolan said CFA had serious concerns with 50 clauses that would hand a veto power to the militant United Firefighters Union (UFU) – they would add to 20 veto clauses already contained in the 2010 CFA EBA.

There were serious concerns the wording of the proposed clauses would require the CFA to ‘consult and agree’ with the union and would ‘open the flood gates for us to be held up at Fair Work’, Ms Nolan said.

Ms Nolan resigned in June and told the inquiry she resigned because she could not ‘oversee the destruction of the CFA’.

“We have seen Daniel Andrews bully the resignation of his Emergency Services Minister, the CFA CEO, CFA Chief Fire Officer and entire CFA board,” Ms Kealy said.

“There have even been attempts to ban Opposition MPs from speaking at events organised by their local CFA.

“The Nationals have stood with Victoria’s 60,000 volunteers throughout this dispute, and we will continue to do so,” she said.

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