A lack of respect for Erica’s female CFA volunteer firefighters was called out in State Parliament after it was exposed the station’s feminine hygiene disposal service was being withdrawn.
During Question Time, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath took the Minister for Emergency Services to task for Labor’s penny pinching decision to cut female sanitary services in rural stations.
“The sanitary bin collection service had been in place at the Erica station since 2011 and the cancellation of it flies in the face of dignity and respect,” said Ms Bath.
“A suggested plastic bin and bag as an alternative is a backwards step for attracting and women to the CFA.
“With membership close to 50 per cent, the female volunteers are justifiably incensed that this decision is at odds with the governments’ stated CFA diversity and inclusion policy,” said Ms Bath.
In response to Ms Bath’s questioning, Minister Symes admitted she had been aware of the service cancellation impacting female volunteers since the end of last year.
Ms Bath said despite being aware for two months, Minister Symes has allowed the cost cutting exercise that also impacts other CFA volunteer brigades to go ahead.
“The Minister’s response stating, “it was a matter for individual brigades” is poor form – our female volunteer firefighters deserve to be valued for the work they do protecting our communities,” said Ms Bath.
“The Allan Labor Government is broke and to save a couple of dollars it has endorsed the removal of a personal hygiene service.
“This move shows Labor can’t manage money and it certainly can’t support our female CFA volunteer firefighters.
“The Allan Labor Government must stop penny pinching from volunteers and immediately reinstate the CFA’s sanitary bin collection service for female firefighters.”