Fire Services Bill Select Committee- Interim report

08 August 2017- Mr O'Sullivan- I would also like to make some brief comments in relation to the inquiry into the Firefighters' Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017. First of all I would like to thank the committee for the work that they did. It was done in a very cooperative manner in terms of trying to get to the bottom of the complex issues that we were asked to deal with. There is no doubt there are two distinct and different views in relation to this legislation, and the committee went about it in a terrific way in terms of trying to work through those issues.

I would also like to make mention of the secretariat, Anne Sargent and Keir Delaney, and their team for their work. With such a truncated time frame to go out and hold the hearings, the work that they did in terms of turning around the transcripts with Hansard and preparing the information they have for the committee was first-class. It was terrific that the committee was able to get out into the country regions — Wangaratta, Swan Hill, Traralgon and Hamilton — as well as holding hearings in Melbourne. We were able to hear from career firefighters and volunteers plus a whole range of other people directly involved with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and the CFA and a whole range of other experts who presented as well.

The passion was very clear. It came through in relation to the fire services. There is no doubt the people involved in keeping the community safe are very passionate people, whether they be from the MFB or the CFA. I would certainly like to make mention of that passion. The passion that these organisations have is in the best interests of communities and people who live here in Victoria. The interim report handed down today is one thing, but we will get to the fulsome report in the coming week or two.

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