VFBV slams Labor’s plans to snub CFA’s 60,000 volunteer firefighters

Today’s open letter from the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) could not be clearer about its strong objection to Labor’s fire services policy which ‘will have grave and disastrous consequences for the CFA.

It is unequivocal proof that Labor is out of touch with the almost 60,000 hardworking CFA volunteers across Victoria.

Daniel Andrews and the United Firefighters Union’s war on CFA volunteers must end.

Labor’s fire services policy lacks recognition and is an insult to the critical role our CFA volunteers play in Victoria’s emergency response. Labor’s plan to recruit more CFA career firefighters is about nothing more than appeasing union mates and getting rid of CFA volunteers from brigades.

Labor’s plan is about bowing to the union and giving it free reign over operational decisions, which includes the allocation of resources and the deployment of volunteers.

It is a disgrace.

The VFBV’s unprecedented action to issue an open letter and write to every Labor MP expressing their disdain is further evidence that Labor’s policy will alienate and divide Victorian firefighters.

The VFBV have been clear –

“We are concerned that Labor’s policy will reduce CFA’s volunteer firefighting force by thousands of volunteers, pushing volunteers out of CFA stations and hundreds of CFA trucks off the road

“Labor’s policy for CFA is not good for CFA volunteers, is not good for Victoria and is not good for the future of CFA.”

With the fire season approaching, Labor’s plans to disregard the role of our volunteers who make up more than 97% of CFA’s operational staff will significantly compromise the safety of all Victorians.

Unlike Dan(iel) Andrews and Labor, the Coalition Government will not be dictated to by a militant UFU whose sole interest is to get rid of hardworking volunteers in Victoria.

The Coalition Government supports the role of the Chief Fire Officer to make operational decisions which includes staffing levels, not the UFU who is only interested in boosting its membership in an attempt to control Victoria’s fire agencies.

The Coalition Government has an unwavering commitment to our volunteers who are the backbone of the state’s emergency response and perform a vital role keeping Victorians safe.

We have continued to bolster frontline services with more than 200 career and more than 800 volunteer firefighters, upgrades at 250 rural fire stations and delivered more than 275 trucks.

We have delivered Victoria the best funded and resourced fire services in Australia, which was confirmed by the 2014 annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) released earlier this year.

The Coalition Government shares the VFBV’s serious concerns about Dan(iel) Andrews motives to rid volunteerism from the CFA and the disastrous impact it would have on Victoria’s emergency response, at a time when we need them most.

The Napthine Government is the only choice to look after firefighters and to protect Victorians.