Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria’s leadership training program, which has assisted East Gippsland volunteers from Mallacoota to Mount Taylor, has been cancelled due to funding cuts by the Andrews Government in its latest stoush with CFA volunteers.
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria’s funding bid to enable its Volunteer Leadership Program to continue for 2018 and to be offered to CFA volunteers and other volunteers across the Victorian emergency services sector, has not been supported by the Minister for Emergency Services.
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria initiated this volunteer leadership opportunity in 2010 with 327 volunteers graduating over the eight years since it commenced.
Nationals MP for Gippsland East Tim Bull has described the withdrawal of ongoing state government funding this long-running and successful volunteer leadership program as a “short sighted and disrespectful way to treat our emergency services volunteers.”
“Volunteers from Mallacoota with Ambulance Victoria, Paynesville Coast Guard and from six Country Fire Authority brigades across East Gippsland have obtained a Certificate IV in Leadership & Management under this program.”
“At a time when we need to be doing all we can to strengthen emergency services volunteer leadership skills and enhance volunteerism, it is disheartening that a proven and respected program like this has not been supported.
“The course was run in conjunction with Chisholm Institute with participants working on a project relevant to their community to develop realistic and practical solutions.
“At the end of last year’s course the participants presented to the group on their project.
“The senior emergency services personnel who attended were highly impressed with the standard of these presentations, with one in particular about the issue of bullying resonating strongly.
“The Andrews Government has allowed the rug to be pulled out from under our emergency services volunteers and I will be requesting the Minister to reconsider his decision not to support this program,” said Mr Bull.
Friday, February 23, 2018