Labor Desperately Silences Debate on Divisive CFA Bill

Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government for its failure to allow further debate on its fire services reform bill by adjourning early in the Legislative Council on Friday, 8 September. It is now over 460 days since the Premier emphatically stated that he had ended the Country Fire Authority (CFA) dispute; however, he and his government continue to show total disrespect for Victoria’s 60 000 CFA volunteers through their gutless political manoeuvrings and tactics to destroy the CFA in order to appease and provide political payback to Peter Marshall and his mates in the United Firefighters Union.

Not only that, with the start of the fire season now less than two months away the Premier is playing politics with the safety of Victorians. With forecasts of a dangerous fire season approaching, our CFA volunteers cannot endure another summer of worsening division and derision, placing community safety at risk.

The Legislative Council was called to sit on Friday, 8 September, due to the government’s backlog and incompetent management of its legislative agenda. Yet it forced another adjournment at 3.00 p.m. to prevent further debate on the CFA bill after only one Labor speaker. The Premier must this week do the right thing by all Victorians by stopping the political games, ending his divisive campaign to destroy the volunteer foundation of the CFA and putting the CFA bill to a vote. Only the Liberal-Nationals coalition will protect and respect those who protect us — Victoria’s 60 000 CFA