The announcement by the Andrews Government of the belated establishment of the Fire District Review Panel will provide little comfort to the thousands of hard-working CFA volunteers across Victoria.
In yet another blatant display of disrespect to CFA volunteers, Labor has delayed the creation of the new panel for a year.
Created under the Fire Rescue Victoria Act 1958, this independent body is meant to consult with key stakeholders and provide recommendations to Government on proposed boundary changes for the Government’s controversial Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
Earlier this year, however, the Andrews Government rammed through parliament new boundary changes for FRV stations including Latrobe West in Gippsland. This new station, which significantly impacts on CFA brigades in Trafalgar and Westbury, occurred without any consultation. These changes were rammed through Parliament before the new panel was even established.
Furthermore, the Government has gifted the important role of Chair to former Labor MP Valerie Callister.
It is no wonder that many CFA volunteers will have little faith that this new body will protect their interests.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Nick Wakeling:
“The disrespect Daniel Andrews continues to show to CFA volunteers is disgraceful.
“Time and time again, Daniel Andrews bows to the whims of his union mates at the expense of CFA volunteers.
“Today’s announcement will provide little comfort for CFA volunteers that their interests will be protected by this new panel.”