Daniel Andrews has pushed ahead with his plan to tear apart the CFA, pushing his divisive Bill through the parliament without the standard consultation period.
Daniel Andrews Government shut down consultation with local communities by preventing the usual two week consultation period and allowing just one day for debate, before forcing its CFA Bill to a vote in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
The Bill passed, with the support of Labor and the Greens.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said The Nationals would continue the fight to protect our volunteers in Parliament’s upper house.
“The Bill mischievously combines the CFA restructure and cancer compensation into the one piece of legislation, when they should be dealt with separately.
“I support presumptive rights legislation for our volunteer and career firefighters, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of tearing apart our CFA and the two issues should not be in the same legislation.
“I also believe the presumptive legislation, in the form proposed by Labor, is flawed. It should be the same for career and volunteer fire fighters, but under Daniel Andrews’ proposal it is not, it will be harder for volunteers.
“As a couple of CFA volunteers said to me this week – ‘same fire, same smoke, same cancer’.
“The Liberal Nationals introduced a bill for presumptive rights cancer legislation into the Parliament in May 2018, but Daniel Andrews and Labor voted this bill down as they wanted to combine it with the CFA restructure, so when we vote against the restructure they can say we voted against the cancer legislation, when we in fact support this element.
Since Daniel Andrews was elected in 2014, more than 3,500 volunteers have left Victoria’s CFA with the major reason being they don’t like the restructure he is proposing.
“We need our local volunteers and the tens of thousands across the state to protect our homes, families and communities and to provide vital surge capacity at our times of greatest need,” Mr Bull said.
“Surge capacity is the additional manpower provided by metro based CFA volunteers when we have fires in country areas. The volunteers will be pushed out when career fighters take over control of many stations that are currently CFA.
“This will impact on our surge capacity, the support they provided in times of need. The career firefighters will not provide this support, having to stay at their own stations.
“Labor has shut down the voice of our CFA volunteers by refusing to consult with them on this flawed legislation that will reduce the number of CFA volunteers in Victoria, and negatively impact community safety.”