THERE have been eight reviews into emergency fire services and not a single one has recommended the action which Daniel Andrews announced on Friday which splits the fire services into volunteer and paid agencies, says Opposition Leader Matthew Guy.
What does this mean for Victorians?
This attempt by Daniel Andrews to rip apart the CFA will result in the loss of thousands of volunteer firefighters and that will put the lives and property of Victorians at risk.
What does this mean for Volunteers?
It is expected that volunteers in volunteer only stations will be able to remain at their stations. It is feared that more volunteers will leave the service because of the way they have been treated and disrespected by Daniel Andrews.
Volunteers at the 35 integrated stations, which are volunteer and career stations, are believed to be able to remain ’co-located’. However, the specific details remain uncertain. See list of integrated stations below.
What is the cost of this?
The Andrews Government has promised a new $100 million package for new stations, training and recruitment. On the information available this appears to be a good investment even if there are some concerns about the political motivations behind it.
As for the costs of the EBA and additional firefighters, earlier this week at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee the Andrews Government could not or would not produce costings, including answers to questions about the cost of training new firefighters.
Former CFA Board Chairman, John Peberdy, estimates the cost of the EBA at between $600-700 million. As for the cost of additional firefighters, it still remains unknown.
How much consultation did the Andrews Government do?
The only consultation Daniel Andrews did was with Peter Marshall.
The government will require legislation to split volunteers and career firefighters and create a new fire service, they would need to revoke the current CFA and MFB Acts and or make major amendments to separate volunteers and career staff.
Due to the Andrews Governments majority in the Legislative Assembly this will likely make its way to the Legislative Council.
As a result of Andrews’ previous attacks on the CFA this will likely reduce the already decreasing volunteer capacity, it will displace and demoralise the volunteers protecting Victorian families and their homes.
Integrated Stations (volunteer and career firefighters):
There are currently 35 integrated fire stations:
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