This is the transcript of my member’s speech delivered in parliament this morning, recognising the role and commitment of our CFA volunteers and hoping for divine intervention in the ongoing dispute with United Firefighters Union …
Statement: CFA Annual Memorial Service
Today, May 4, marks the Feast day for St Florian, patron saint of Firefighters.
I thank Members of the CFA both past and present for their volunteering to protect the community and assets in the case of fire across regional Victoria.
On Sunday I had the honour of attending the CFA’s Annual memorial Service which was this year held in Wodonga.
This year’s service commemorated 10 years since the deaths in the line of duty of Trevor Day, Campbells Creek Fire Brigade and Rebecca Helwig. Rebecca Helwig was a member of the Barnawartha Fire Brigade, which is within the Benambra electorate. Mrs Helwig had been a volunteer for 10 years and her husband Shayne was also a volunteer, a Lieutenant in the same brigade at the time. Their passion for the brigade and volunteering also saw their three sons – Garry, Blake and Bo join.
I well remember the incident involving Mrs Helwig as, at that time I was an operational member of Victoria Police. Her death devastated her family and the wider community.
CFA is an emergency service and there to serve the community protecting life and property, there are dangers involved, members realise this but I am grateful that memorial services such as that on the weekend are held to give us all the opportunity to remember and to say thank you to those that have paid the ultimate price.
I ask St Florian, patron saint of Firefighters to continue to look over firefighters — both paid and volunteer.
Maybe also a little prayer for the Minister who is being placed under significant pressure and most likely bullied by the Union and her very own Premier.
I’m sure he wouldn’t seek to exercise the power of veto over a management system nor care as to whether firefighters were paid or volunteers.
The idea of a ratio would be the last thing on his mind and would only care for their safe return from a fire event.
I’m sure St Florian is all about his fellow man and not serving the union cause.
He would care little for the next UFU delegates conference and how many suits they can control in the Parliament.
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