Fire Royal Commission vital
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Fire Royal Commission vital

A Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services, as promised by the Liberal Nationals Coalition, will result in a safer work environment for volunteer firefighters and ultimately, safer communities, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“Today’s announcement, an election commitment for 2018, will come as pleasing news for volunteer CFA members from across the region, who have told me they feel there is no longer anyone left to stand up for them and represent their interests,” Mr Bull said.
“This became evident at recent local meetings between volunteer firefighters when I hosted State Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, in the district,” he said.
“This pledge for a Royal Commission is all about ensuring we protect those who protect us.”
Mr Bull said serious allegations of bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of detrimental action had been outlined in a series of reports over recent years, without being addressed and he also said there had been allegations of a similar nature from brigades within East Gippsland. 
He said the ongoing dispute over the CFA enterprise bargaining agreement had also led to concerns about operational effectiveness.
“The implications the EBA has on community safety, and the process and conduct of these negotiations, will be a key area of investigation by the Royal Commission.
“This has also contributed to the loss of hundreds of years of emergency services experience between the CFA and MFB, including board members, staff and even a Minister of the Crown, due to the ongoing fight between the UFU, CFA and government,” he said.
“Under the draft terms of reference, the process and conduct of negotiations with respect to the replacement of EBAs will be a key area for investigation by the Royal Commission.
“A Royal Commission that is completely independent of government is now vital and urgent.
“It will be able to critically examine the issues our fire services are facing and come up with evidence-based solutions,” Mr Bull said.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017