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LETTER: CFA torn apart

SIR, – As the Member for Ripon, I know how much local communities depend on CFA volunteers who protect them.

Two weeks ago the Andrews Labor Government used their majority in the Legislative Assembly to rush through legislation to break the CFA apart, separating career and volunteer firefighters.

On Thursday night the Andrews Labor Government succeeded in getting its new fire services legislation to pass through the Legislative Council.

Having consulted with hundreds of local CFA volunteers and thousands of CFA supporters in the wider community, I know that in Ripon the plan to tear the CFA apart does not have community support. 

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None the less, one of our local Upper House Members of Parliament Andy Meddick, who was elected to represent voters in Western Victoria, was a key player in abandoning volunteer firefighters and supporting Labor’s bill.

To add insult to injury, the Animal Justice MP spent the lead up to Thursday night’s vote posing for photographs with his real mates, the United Firefighter’s Union. Thanks to Mr Meddick and Labor, all CFA staff, including vital brigade support staff, will now be transferred out of the CFA. 

Volunteers will be left under-resourced and without access to the same cancer compensation as their paid counterparts.

Ripon has more than 90 all-volunteer brigades, and our firefighters must have access to the same resources and the same cancer compensation as career firefighters

As the Member for Ripon I joined with every one of my Liberal National Coalition colleagues in voting against this bill.

I will not give up on our CFA volunteers. I will continue to fight for the resources, recognition and protection they deserve.

Louise Staley

Member for Ripon

The entire June 26, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire June 29, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!