Andrews refuses to meet with local CFA volunteers
08 September 2016
Thursday 8 September 2016
Premier Daniel Andrews has refused to meet with CFA volunteers from the Euroa electorate regarding their concerns about the ongoing United Fire Fighters Union (UFU) enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) debacle.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan invited the Premier in April to meet a delegation of local volunteers.
Ms Ryan said the Premier’s response, arriving four months later, offered nothing but a suggestion that concerned volunteers can find out more information online.
“I have been inundated with phone calls from distressed volunteers and community members ever since it became public that the Premier intervened in EBA negations to push through a deal that compromises CFA volunteers,” Ms Ryan said.
“I asked Daniel Andrews to meet with volunteers from my electorate so that he could hear directly how much this EBA will impact on local brigades and their response during the fire season.
“I know our local brigade members will stay committed to responding to local incidents but many have told me they will not join strike teams if they are required elsewhere around the state.
“If other brigades feel the same way, we could find ourselves in serious trouble if we have large fires, like the Stewarton and Lake Rowan fires in 2014 where we need to call in back up from around the state.
“The Premier needs to front up and hear these concerns instead of burying his head in the sand.”
Ms Ryan said volunteers felt betrayed by the government’s willingness to cave into the UFU’s demands which would see the union given unprecedented control over CFA operations.
“It is a betrayal of the decades of work that volunteers have put in to keep our communities safe,” Ms Ryan said.