EXTRACT FROM PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES HANSARD
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Fire services review
Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government, the Deputy Premier and the Minister for Emergency Services for their utter contempt in paying lip‑service to the views of Victoria’s dedicated volunteer firefighters as part of the current fire services review.
I make this statement on behalf of the many angry and disheartened volunteer firefighters of Knox. They have every right to feel angry, particularly about the Deputy Premier’s deceit in lending false hope to the volunteers by committing to make representations to the Premier and about his seeking the minister to have the timelines for the review extended until after the forthcoming 2015–16 fire season but then, when challenged in Parliament, backtracking by refusing to say he gave his support for such an extension.
The motives behind the fire services review are particularly of grave concern since the review can only be seen for what it really is: a trumped‑up opportunity to produce a sham report which will provide a veneer of bureaucratic transparency and cynical political coverage to pay back Labor’s union mates for their dishonesty and appalling behaviour in misleading Victorians during last November’s state election.
The Andrews government’s intentions are very clear — this review will result in unionisation by stealth of the Country Fire Authority, the deliberate and calculated strategic undermining of its very core and the downgrading of the importance of volunteers. All this is being done at the expense of volunteers, who are increasingly feeling that they are being treated with contempt and are no longer wanted by this state Labor government.