The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath called on Daniel Andrews to back CFA volunteers in the Latrobe Valley when speaking in State Parliament this week.
“Devastating fires across the Eastern Victoria Region over the summer period highlighted the critical role our firefighters play in keeping our communities safe,” Ms Bath said.
“Our CFA volunteers provided vital surge capacity for days and weeks on end, and all deserve our gratitude for selflessly giving up their time to protect our community.”
But despite their critical place in our regional communities, Ms Bath said volunteers fear the Andrews Labor Government will bring back its divisive Bill to tear apart the CFA after the Federal Election.
“Daniel Andrews knows his plan to tear apart the CFA is wildly unpopular and will cost Labor votes if he brings it back before the Federal Election,” Ms Bath said.
“For the Government to claim modernisation can only occur through the Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) model and through ripping our CFA apart is a complete fabrication.”
Ms Bath said the Morwell CFA volunteers’ recent decision to split off from career firefighters in the Fire Brigade showed the ongoing uncertainty was taking its toll.
“CFA Brigades are concerned there’s no guarantee that local equipment secured through community donations will remain with the local brigades that worked hard to fundraise for them, if Daniel Andrews succeeds in his plan to tear apart the CFA,” Ms Bath said.
“Morwell Brigade volunteers have felt compelled to take a stand and want to go it alone because of the ongoing uncertainty around the future of the CFA.
“The Nationals will always work to protect those who protect our community.
“I call on the Andrews Labor Government to do the same by stopping its divisive attacks on our hard-working firefighters and confirming it will not bring back its divisive Bill that will destroy an organisation that’s critical to protecting our community.”