Letter to the Editor - Support our CFA volunteers

22 July 2016

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Editor

I write to place on record my unwavering support for Victoria's dedicated CFA volunteers.

The last few weeks have not been an easy time for the 60,000 volunteers who give so much of their time and sacrifice so much to ensure communities right across Victoria can feel safe.

Daniel Andrews' arrogant, 'my way or the highway' approach has been a staggering blow not only to CFA volunteers but to their families, their communities and the broader volunteer community as a whole.

Two Fridays ago the Victorian Labor Government - a government which is supposed to govern independently for all Victorians – forced the then CFA board into an impasse; face imprisonment or face the sack. Daniel Andrews and his new Emergency Services Minister James Merlino gave the board until 5pm to sign, even though the Supreme Court had issued an injunction and warned the board they could face imprisonment if they signed.

In an extraordinary abuse of executive power, Daniel Andrews has sacked everyone standing in his way to see this unlawful EBA ticked off.

I support paid firefighters being fairly compensated for their work but I cannot support the United Firefighters Union’s demand for control over the CFA.

The government's own Minister, the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, the CFA board and CEO, the body representing Victoria's 60,000 CFA volunteers, the government's own senior legal counsel and counsel assisting the Bushfires Royal Commission Jack Rush QC all believe the EBA is flawed.

I have been proud to stand with our volunteers at recent rallies across the state and I urge the community to stand with me in support of our local CFA volunteers.

Please sign my petition at www.stephryan.com.au/hands_off_the_cfa or simply let your local brigade know that they have your support.

Steph Ryan MP
Member for Euroa
Deputy Leader of The Nationals

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