Members statement- Country Fire Authority volunteers
24th May 2017- Mr O'Sullivan- Why is the Premier, Daniel Andrews, picking a fight with the 70 000 Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers who work every day to keep our communities safe? Why is Daniel Andrews wanting to break up the CFA and split it into two parts, promoting the paid United Firefighters Union (UFU) while sidelining the 70 000 volunteers who keep us safe? This is nothing more than a political fix by the Premier to pay back Peter Marshall and the UFU for their support of him during the last election, and we have all seen the emails from the UFU secretary asking Labor MPs about the paybacks that were required for that support.
Public safety should never, ever be put at risk by political outcomes such as this. The surge capacity of the CFA volunteers on days of high fire danger, such as Black Saturday, will be destroyed if this is allowed to proceed. The government provided no consultation with the volunteers, no consultation with Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria and no consultation with the community. There have been no less than eight reviews into the fire services, including a royal commission, no less, and not one of them recommended that there should be a complete break-up of the CFA into paid firefighters, who will get the royal treatment from this government, and CFA volunteers, who will be sidelined. This is a disgrace, and we will fight this all the way to the next election.