Emergency Services | May 29, 2019
Labor moves on CFA now federal election is over
The Andrews Labor Government has confirmed the fears of local volunteers by today reintroducing to Parliament its divisive and flawed legislation to smash up the CFA.
Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP condemned the move and said Daniel Andrews had clearly been waiting to get the Federal Election out of the way before they again introduced the Bill.
“This is a terribly sad day for CFA volunteers who have committed years to an organisation in service to the community,” Ms Kealy said.
“Daniel Andrews is hell bent on tearing the CFA apart to give the United Firefighters Union control of the organisation.
“Labor has again arrogantly introduced a bill which means CFA volunteers who get cancer won’t receive compensation unless the UFU also gains control of firefighting operations.”
The bill seeks to create Fire Rescue Victoria, staffed only by career firefighters. Under the changes, the CFA will become a volunteer-only body, but paid staff will be contracted back to the organisation.
“This has no practical change to Daniel Andrews’ first plan to merge the CFA and the MFB because the union will still have the power to dictate to volunteers by setting the conditions those staff work under,” Ms Kealy said.
The Bill also hands control of the state’s 35 integrated stations to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), sidelining volunteers in those stations and putting the state’s surge capacity at risk.
“In major bushfires, our brigades rely on help from volunteers in those integrated stations to provide extra support,” Ms Kealy said.
“We live in one of the most fire-prone parts of the state and without that support, I really worry that we won’t be able to get the help we need in the event of a big fire.”
Ms Kealy said CFA volunteers were the casualties of Labor’s plan to pay back its debt to the UFU which campaigned to get Daniel Andrews into government in 2014.
“Since 2014, the CFA has lost 3534 operational volunteers. Our CFA volunteers are exhausted by the four-year fight they have had with a Premier who arrogantly disregards their concerns,” Ms Kealy said.
“I won’t stop fighting for our CFA volunteers. They don’t deserve to be treated in this way.”
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