Community consultation will soon begin on The Nationals’ plan to rebuild our CFA and strengthen the volunteer organisation following Labor’s disastrous fire service reforms.
The CFA is an icon of country Victoria, but the Andrews Labor Government’s reforms have deliberately sidelined volunteer brigades that are integral to the protection of country communities.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said The Nationals have now appointed a CFA Advisory Committee in a positive step forward to rebuild the CFA.
“There’s no CFA without volunteers which is why we want firefighters and brigades to share their ideas to restore the CFA as an independent and equal fire service,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s just months since the reforms came in and already staffing vacancies are plaguing country fire districts with Daniel Andrews’ changes now requiring paid staff to be seconded from Fire Services Victoria (FRV).
“Labor’s reforms are starving the CFA of resources and staff, further destroying the organisation by stealth.”
The Nationals’ CFA Advisory Committee will be chaired by Molyullah local Jack Rush QC. Mr Rush played a pivotal role as Counsel assisting in the Black Saturday Bushfire Royal Commission.
The committee will also consist of former Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, former member and acting-chair of the CFA Board John Peberdy, former SES board member Ev Duke and Adam Barnett, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV).
The committee will also consist of three CFA volunteers who will be nominated by the VFBV.
“This process provides a critical opportunity to promote the interests of a most precious resource, volunteer firefighters, and to ensure the future of the State’s largest fire agency – the CFA,” Mr Rush said.
Ms Ryan urged anyone wanting to have their say on the future of the fire services to visit www.yoursayonthecfa.com.au
“The voices of CFA volunteers have been ignored for too long,” Ms Ryan said.
“If The Nationals are in government, CFA volunteers will receive the support and respect they rightly deserve.”