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
Concerns have been raised that a decision to split the professional and volunteer fire fighting services in Victoria may discourage current and future volunteers of the service Mr Blackwood has said today. Mr Blackwood said for months speculation had been rampant that this move would be made to appease the UFU and there were veryContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has today thanked the Federal Transport Minister Hon. Darren Chester MP and Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent MP for their commitment to Victorian regional rail with the announcement of $500 million for upgrades in last nights Federal Budget. ‘This investment by the Federal Minister for Transport means projects like the duplicationContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said Premier Daniel Andrews has left many critical Narracan projects off the map in this year’s State Budget, only investing the bare minimum in the region. In responding to the Victorian Budget Mr Blackwood said Daniel Andrews has misled Gippsland about potential V/Line improvements announcing funding he simply doesContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today welcomed the announcement of 3 new carriages for the Gippsland line which will assist commuters on two peak services at 6:27am to Melbourne from Traralgon and 4:58pm to Traralgon from Melbourne. ‘I welcome today’s announcement from the Victorian Government that new carriages will appear on these services butContinue Reading
The Heyfield rally held at State Parliament this week has shown that the Andrews Labor Government needs to listen to regional communities and support the industries they rely on, Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood has said this week. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said there was a clear message to the government from the rally,Continue Reading
The Andrews Labor Governments cuts to country road maintenance funding are starting to bite in regional Victoria with VicRoads having to drop speed limits to protect motorists on roads where no funding is available to repair surfaces. Speaking in Parliament Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said a number of local residents had approached him regardingContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has welcomed today’s opening of the new Sand Road Interchange which has greatly improved safety at one of regional Victoria’s most dangerous intersections. Mr Blackwood said the upgrade was absolutely necessary to improve safety for motorists who relied on the intersection on a regular basis. ‘The grade separation of SandContinue Reading
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, has today called on the Andrews Labor Government to support the Latrobe Valley with a real plan to deliver investment and jobs with only 50 days remaining until Hazelwood closes. ‘Today marks 50 days until the closure of Hazelwood and increasingly the commentary I hear from local communities isContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in the Victorian Parliament to highlight the true impact of the closure of Hazelwood on the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and wider Victorian community. Mr Blackwood said the closure of Hazelwood would have far reaching impacts on public and private sectors who have had access to reliable readilyContinue Reading
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement by Engie that Hazelwood will close is a major blow to an already struggling Latrobe Valley and wider Gippsland community. ‘Hazelwood has been a core employer within Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley for generations and today’s announcement will fundamentally change the future of our region,’ MrContinue Reading
Labor Member for Eastern Victoria Ms Harriet Shing has openly criticised the state of roads in Gippsland during this week’s sitting of the Victorian Parliament. “I refer to the parlous state of roads in the Eastern Victoria Region and in Gippsland, which have in and of themselves contributed more than their fair share of fatalities,Continue Reading
The release of the Regional Network Development Plan designed to drive future investment in regional transport will come as a bad joke to local commuters according to Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood and Member for Morwell Russell Northe. After a year of waiting, the Regional Network Development Plan has been released and contains no immediateContinue 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
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