Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Nationals MP Tim Bull, is calling on the people of East Gippsland to share their ideas for the future of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) that will help to rebuild and restore it as an independent, volunteer-based, autonomous fire service.
The CFA was split on July 1 after a dispute that will now see CFA operational staff seconded from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
Mr Bull said the website www.yoursayonthecfa.com.au gave a voice to volunteers, brigades and country people to put forth their ideas.
“My concerns with the recent changes is, it removes the CFA’s autonomy and the reduction in volunteers (5,000 fewer under this government) will impact on the organisation's surge capacity in times of need.
“Surge capacity is when metro-based volunteers make up strike teams that travel to the country in times of need. We had a shortage of strike teams last summer and this will only increase as metro volunteer numbers continue to dwindle.
“We have already seen a major reduction in metro CFA volunteer numbers and this trend looks like increasing after these current changes from the correspondence I’ve received,” said Mr Bull.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh added that further reform of the CFA Act would see all CFA Board members required to sign up to, and be bound by, the Volunteer Charter.
“CFA volunteers selflessly serve our country communities when we need it most, but they’ve been silenced during its destructive campaign to destroy the CFA,” Mr Walsh said.
“If The Nationals are elected to government in 2022, we’ll work with Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) and CFA brigades across the state to restore and rebuild the CFA to fix the damage done by Daniel Andrews.
“Within the first 100 days of government, we’ll introduce legislation to restore the independence of the CFA by giving it the power to select, recruit and manage its own staff who wear the CFA uniform – not the uniform of FRV.
“The CFA is an iconic and trusted part of regional communities.”
An independent Commissioner for Emergency Services Volunteers will also be appointed with the power to investigate issues raised by volunteers and to arbitrate outcomes.
Community members can share ideas to rebuild and restore our CFA at www.yoursayonthecfa.com.au