State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has expressed his support to ensure volunteer fire fighters remain on the board of the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
This follows a United Fire-fighters Union (UFU) recommendation to a government inquiry to remove volunteer fire-fighters from the CFA board.
Mr Bull said this board is responsible for one of the world's largest volunteer organisations, with volunteers making up 97% of the CFA.
“To not have representation on the board when you make up 97% of the membership is ludicrous.
“In an area like East Gippsland our volunteer firefighters play a very important role in our community and in some of our smaller townships are the heart and soul of those communities.
“They are not only active in fire periods, but in many cases play a number of other important roles in country communities.
“The UFU wants the volunteers on the board replaced by its members, but I would see this as a huge slap in the face for the many rural and regional volunteers who are the backbone of the CFA.
“In light of this claim, it would be timely for either the Premier or the Minister to guarantee volunteer positions will remain on the CFA board to ensure volunteer’s voices are heard,” Mr Bull said.
“Unfortunately this has not been forthcoming and I would hope the Government will not bow to the Union which turned out in force on election day to hand out how to vote cards for the now government in a number of seats.
“I would encourage all of our local volunteers to make sure the Andrews Government hears their views on this matter,” Mr Bull said.