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A fresh start
Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself – my name is James and I’m Victoria’s new Emergency Services Minister.
A bit about me: I live in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges with Meagan and our three kids and I have the privilege of representing the people of Monbulk in the Victorian Parliament.
We’ve always lived here – and our family has always relied on the CFA to keep our home safe.
Your commitment and dedication mean so much to me, and I hope to show you the same commitment and dedication as the Minister for emergency services personnel across this state.
Clearly, it’s still a difficult time.
Both volunteer and career firefighters, and the people working at CFA headquarters as well, will have felt the stress and strain of recent weeks.
What’s important is this 1000-day dispute is now coming to an end, a fair and balanced agreement is on the table, and we have a chance for a fresh start.
I know that, by the time the next fire season rolls around, the CFA will be stronger.
More new trucks, stations and training facilities have been funded, fair pay rises for career firefighters will be delivered, and presumptive rights to cancer compensation for career and volunteer firefighters are on their way.
Under the proposed agreement to end the long-running dispute, CFA volunteer fire stations will continue operating as they always have – regardless of what you may have heard.
We’ve also appointed Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley to oversee the implementation of the agreement and make sure the role of volunteers is protected.
Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me if you have any concerns or advice.
And also, let me say thanks: I’m passionate about the role of firefighters, and my family and I rely on your commitment and expertise every year.
I look forward to getting to know more of you in the months to come.