CFA Hands off our CFA | August 23, 2016

Bath welcomes Federal safeguards for CFA

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has welcomed the Federal Coalition Government’s plan to introduce legislation to protect the CFA against Labor’s destructive enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).

The Respect for Emergency Services Volunteers Bill will be introduced in the first sitting of Federal Parliament and would amend the Fair Work Act to prevent EBAs interfering with the important work of our emergency services volunteers.

The move comes as the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) prepare to challenge the current EBA in the Supreme Court over the legality of veto clauses which transfers power from the CFA’s chief fire officer to the United Firefighters Union (UFU).

“In the lead-up to fire season, our volunteers should be focusing on preparing to defend our communities against the threat of bushfire – not an attack from Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government,” Ms Bath said.

She said the legislation would ensure any EBA that affects emergency service volunteers, including the State Emergency Service, will not restrict volunteers from doing what they do best – protecting Victorian families.

“This legislation will make it more difficult for Daniel Andrews to put the demands of the United Firefighters Union ahead of the interests of volunteers,” Ms Bath said.

She thanked her Federal Nationals colleagues Darren Chester, Damian Drum, Bridget McKenzie and Andrew Broad who have been advocating strongly for this legislation.

Ms Bath said the Federal Government’s legislation would require all EBAs to comply with state legislation.

“The Federal Government’s legislation will prevent Daniel Andrews from contravening the CFA Act 1958 which protects CFA volunteerism,” Ms Bath said.

“It is a sad day when our CFA volunteers have to rely on the intervention of the Federal Government to give them the respect they deserve.”

 

Media Contact: Renee Switzer 5174 7066

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