Daniel Andrews failure to consult CFA volunteers on the split of professional and volunteer members is a slap in the face to the thousands of volunteers who have protected our State for decades Mr Blackwood has told State Parliament this week.
‘The announcement last week by the Andrews Government to effectively break up the CFA, broaden the involvement of the MFB into peri-urban areas and strengthen the influence of career firefighters in regional areas has been introduced with absolutely no consultation with the 57,000 volunteers what have kept our communities safe for decades,’ Mr Blackwood said.
Mr Blackwood said that claims by the Deputy Premier and his Labor colleagues that consultation had occurred with volunteer brigades were untrue and that
‘The claims of consultation are just another Labor lie and despite claims by Ministers, the Deputy Premier and some of his Labor colleagues there has been no consultation with volunteer brigades on this proposal.
‘Volunteers have told me that the Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, recently attended a Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) meeting in my local area, and when questioned about the proposal to break up the CFA, she refused to answer questions.
‘The Premier’s blatant disregard for the potential impact of his plan, which is in fact blatant unmitigated disrespect for country communities and their safety, is an absolute disgrace.
Of the questions unanswered, Mr Blackwood said the most critical were volunteer raised funds for vehicles and equipment which may now be transferred to the newly established Fire Rescue Victoria.
‘I have met with a number of CFA volunteers in recent days, and the unanswered questions they have is a clear indication that no consultation has taken place.
‘Concerns regarding funds raised by volunteers for essential equipment is a major concern.
‘In one instance, over $400,000 has been raised by volunteers from the local community for a new Hazmat vehicle. That vehicle may now become the property and be in the control of the proposed new entity, Fire Rescue Victoria.
‘There is absolutely no justification for creating two separate entities to provide fire safety, with one having superiority over the other when the CFA as a combined career and volunteer firefighting force has been so successful in maintaining community safety for decades,’ said Mr Blackwood.
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in Parliament this week to call on the Minister for Health to intervene in the drawn out search for a permanent location for an ambulance station in Drouin. ‘Drouin is the largest town in country Victoria still without a permanent 24 hour ambulance facility,’ Mr Blackwood said.Continue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has said a huge increase in criminal offences is a result of the Andrews Labor Government not having a clear agenda on how it will tackle crime and had failed to strengthen legislation to help deter criminal activity. ‘The latest crime statistics show an average 10 per cent increase inContinue Reading
The Victorian Labor Government’s Budget has again missed the mark in Narracan for a second consecutive year under Daniel Andrews. Four local schools will see upgrades after being forgotten by the Labor Government in the 2015-16 State Budget however many of the upgrades won’t be seen until 2018-19 and funds allocated fall well shortContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has congratulated five local CFA groups that will receive funding from the 2015/16 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP). Mr Blackwood said the program assisted emergency service agencies with the purchase of life-saving equipment, trucks, boats and funds minor upgrades. “Local emergency service volunteers make a significant contributionContinue Reading
Home owners, businesses and farmers will face large increases in their property based Fire Services Levy (FSL) as a direct result of the Labor State Budget. Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said the Andrews Labor Government outlined a huge 7.2 per cent increase in FSL receipts in its recent State Budget. ‘This means Gippsland propertyContinue Reading
A re-elected Napthine Coalition Government will further expand ambulance resources at Warragul, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood announced today. “A new Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance Single Responder Unit will be based at the existing Warragul branch and will provide additional coverage to the local community and the surrounding district,” Mr Blackwood said. “The new MICAContinue Reading
A new $497,000 CFA station and $345,000 tanker for Darnum and Ellinbank CFA have strengthened emergency response in Cloverlea. Representing Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood today officially opened the Darnum and Ellinbank CFA station which he said builds on the Napthine Government’s significant investmentsContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, today announced a re-elected Napthine Government will commit $3.5 million to deliver a new administration and incident control centre for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) in Warragul. “The Napthine Government is building a better and safer Victoria and enhancing emergency response capabilitiesContinue Reading
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