Volunteer CFA brigades in West Gippsland are facing an uncertain future with the Andrews Labor Governments new Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) agency starting July 1.
Changes to districts in Latrobe West mean that CFA volunteers at stations including Trafalgar and Westbury face an uphill battle in recruiting and retaining volunteers.
The district changes also remove many areas of critical responsibility from CFA, instead handing the protection of those homes, businesses, industrial areas and community assets to FRV for protection even though they are located further away than the local CFA brigades.
Local brigades and community members believe this is stage 1 of a phase out for CFA with district boundaries being used to reduce the influence of CFA members over time, eventually handing the protection of regional Victorians over to FRV removing all volunteer groups who in many cases have protected local communities for nearly 100 years.
Comments attributable to Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood;
‘Daniel Andrews and his Minister have systematically worked to undermine the role of CFA volunteers and this change from July 1 will be the next step in that plan.
‘We can’t have a situation in regional Victoria where CFA volunteer brigades are gradually phased out of existence.
‘I’m proud of the incredible work done by our CFA volunteers here in Victoria, clearly Daniel Andrews is not.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Nick Wakeling;
‘The Liberal Nationals voted against Labor’s changes to the CFA because we knew it would undermine the great work that volunteers do to protect our community.
‘Daniel Andrews has shown he is not listening to volunteers and not valuing the critical role they play in regional communities.
‘Now more than ever our CFA are needed to support regional communities and it’s time the Andrews Labor Government stepped up and delivered certainty to local branches who are fearful they are being forced out of their own towns by this government.’
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
All rights reserved. No image or material can be copied or reproduced without the authority of Gary Blackwood MP
Authorised by Gary Blackwood MP, Member for Narracan. 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul and funded from Parliament's Electorate Office and Communciations Budget
Copyright © 2019 Site designed by Bruce Langdon Design