Labor’s CFA split to be scrutinised

The Andrews Labor Government’s contentious plan to split the CFA will be further scrutinised by a parliamentary committee, following community outrage at Premier Daniel Andrews’ failure to properly consult with CFA volunteers.

In State Parliament this week, the Upper House passed a motion proposed by Liberal and Nationals MPs to refer the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017, that seeks in part to create new fire authorities, to a select committee.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said Liberal and Nationals MPs proposed the select committee to ensure CFA volunteers, brigades and regional communities could have their say direct to parliament.

“Daniel Andrews has tried to ram this Bill through without any consultation because he knows this legislation will tear apart the CFA and put the lives and property of Victorians at risk,” Ms Bath said.

Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has welcomed the select committee review.

“It is more than a year since Daniel Andrews declared he had ‘ended’ the CFA dispute, but the CFA is now more divided than ever,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There are grave fears a split of the CFA will severely impact surge capacity in campaign fires.”

Ms Bath said it was also an opportunity for her Upper House counterpart Labor’s Harriet Shing to stand up for her community.

“Ms Shing must stand up for the Gippsland community and tell this Melbourne-centric Premier that splitting up the CFA is not acceptable,” Ms Bath said.

“The time frame for the committee review is short – submissions close on Friday 7 July.”

“I urge CFA volunteers and anyone in our community who wants to have their say on Labor’s plan to split the CFA to get submissions in soon.”

The select committee will report its findings by August 8.