REGIONAL Development Minister Jaala Pulford has shamefully refused to answer questions in Parliament on the Victorian Government’s plan, announced on Friday, to disaggregate the CFA and create a union dominated paid fire authority, says Shadow Minister for Local Government David Davis.
Ms Pulford’s portfolio is focussed on the coordination of government programs in rural and regional Victoria being squarely in her responsibilities, yet Ms Pulford refused point blank to respond when asked whether she had consulted formally with CFA representatives to seek their views and Andrews’ attempt to gut the CFA.
Ms Pulford was determined to hide from her overarching and coordination responsibility for country services, claiming she had nothing to do with the CFA. Despite this claim a whole section of the Regional Development Victoria website is devoted to fire preparation, planning and recovery.
The authority Ms Pulford administers, RDV’s website, contains dozens of documents on fire services and the CFA (see https://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/fire-recovery-unit/resources?SQ_DESIGN_NAME=print_friendly).
In fact, it contains a whole section that relates to the RDV Fire Recovery Unit and a subsection on emergency preparedness and planning with specific focus on the Country Fire Authority. It even provides email and phone links to the Fire Recovery Unit.
The Regional Development Victoria Act 2002 is the responsibility of Minister Pulford under the Administrative Orders and the functions and powers of Regional Development Victoria include “to facilitate the coordinated delivery of government programs, services and resources in rural and regional Victoria”.
Quotes attributable to the Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Davis MP:
It’s a terrible joke that a Minister responsible for Regional Development, whose Authority plays a particular role in the coordination of fire preparation, planning and recovery, a Minister who should be protecting country Victoria, is not prepared to answer questions about the CFA.
It’s shocking that the Regional Development Minister has refused to accept a share of the responsibility for Daniel Andrews’ ugly attempt to gut the CFA. Minister, putting your head in the sand will not stop the damage to the CFA and the risk to Victorian lives and property.