Coalition maintains the rage over CFA

November 15, 2017

ON SUNDAY, state shadow emergency services minister, Brad Battin joined member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh as part of his tour of Victoria.

The visits to Echuca Fire Brigade and Rochester SES and CFA are a part of the Coalition consulting with volunteers about the fire services reform.

If they win the next state election the Coalition parties have promised a Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services.

The Royal Commission, expected to cost taxpayers $10 million, is set to be completed within a year of receiving its terms of reference.

According to those terms it will inquire into and report on 11 different areas, from the resignations or dismissals of leading members of the CFA and MFB to the dismissal of former Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett.

Other areas to be covered include bullying, operational interference, consultation with volunteers and the effect of the current enterprise bargaining agreement.

The meeting in Rochester was attended by members of SES and CFA, where conversations included the morale of the agencies as the biggest issue.

Some ideas included volunteers being on an interview panel for a new Operations Officer in their catchment and a single fire service including the MFB.

The members also spoke about the issues they had, which included there being no consultation with volunteers from career staff.

Members fear there will be a point of no return, a feeling of not being used or unwanted.

Mr Battin has visited various areas across the state, where the key messages he gained were about training of volunteer firefighters, the age of some trucks and access to turn-out gear.

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