Calling for support for the CFA

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (10:43:48): It is the lull before the storm. This summer Victoria has again experienced an intensive fire season, with significant fires across Eastern Victoria Region. Our CFA volunteers provided that vital surge capacity for days and weeks on end, and all deserve our undying gratitude for their gift of service. But volunteers are highly fearful that post the federal election Daniel Andrews will bring back in a bill that will tear apart the CFA, that will dismantle this beautiful, solid and traditional organisation. For the government to cry that it must do this modernisation only through ripping the CFA apart is a complete fabrication. Changes can occur under existing arrangements. They can change existing boundaries. Staffing flexibility can occur to support times and locations and to support volunteers and career firefighters working together. What Daniel Andrews needs to do is equip the CFA with proper brigade equipment and requirements. I regularly hear of brigades that raise considerable funds themselves but put their grants in and get knocked back time and time again. The minister has signed off on this, and she needs to focus far more greatly on what the volunteers need. The government needs to come clean and support the CFA and support the volunteers and not bring back a divisive bill that will tear asunder this great institution.