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Labor votes against bill to protect CFA volunteers

08 December 2016


Labor MPs have voted down the Liberals and Nationals’ efforts to introduce a bill into Parliament to protect the rights of CFA volunteers.

The Country Fire Authority Amendment (Protecting CFA Volunteers) Bill sought to enshrine the rights of Victorian firefighters’ in legislation, as promised by the two parties.

“The bill would have compelled the CFA and the board the Premier has hand-picked to comply with the volunteers’ charter,” Ms Ryan said.

“This would have stopped the CFA from entering into any agreement or arrangement that could have an adverse effect on the interests of volunteer officers and members under the volunteers’ charter.”

Ms Ryan said the UFU had tried to bully the CFA into signing a common law deed that would force through key clauses in the proposed enterprise bargaining agreement.

Labor MPs continued to make slurs against volunteers and the VFBV in the last Question Time for the year today where Daniel Andrews would not rule out doing a side deal with the UFU to give them precedence over volunteers.

“Daniel Andrews has left the door open on doing a side deal with the UFU during the summer months. When he was asked in Question Time to rule out any such arrangement he refused to do so.”

Ms Ryan said The Nationals in a future Coalition Government would not honour any deeds which harmed CFA volunteers.

“We have given the government fair warning that if they seek to sign deeds that harm volunteers, we will not honour them if we are elected to government,” Ms Ryan said.

“It is a blatant move to avoid the scrutiny of both Commonwealth and Victorian law.”

Ms Ryan said it the Andrews Labor Government’s attack on volunteers had left the CFA heading into a dangerous summer fire season with the dispute still unresolved.

“When Daniel Andrews sacked the board 176 days ago he said that he had ended the dispute. Clearly that was a lie,” Ms Ryan said.

“I have full faith in our local brigades that they will do their utmost to defend our communities but they should not have to go into a dangerous summer fire season with this dispute hanging over their heads because the government does not respect or value their work.”

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