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Brumby Government Abandons CFA Volunteers
A little over a year after the black Saturday fires the Brumby government has forgotten the efforts of CFA volunteers and has shown a disregard for their welfare. After questions from our members about the alpine resorts not accepting our parks pass for entry on the 9th of July last year I wrote letters to the ceo’s of the alpine resorts pointing out that in recent years CFA volunteers had risked their lives protecting the infrastructure at alpine resorts which is crown land and with this in mind I believe that honouring member ID cards and parks passes would not be an impost on alpine management boards but would be a statement of support and would provide a lift to our fire fighters and their families. After many phone calls to each of the ceo’s seeking a response it became clear that they had such a disregard for the efforts and welfare of our volunteers that they were not going to reply to my letter.
I then through our local member approached Bob Cameron surely as minister for police and emergency services he would support CFA volunteers while he was happy to handball the issue to Gavin Jennings minister for environment no ware in his short reply did he support volunteer access to alpine resorts. Minister Jennings was happy to point out the obvious that parks pass does not grant access to alpine resorts but did not show any support for volunteer access or offer to bring up the matter with the alpine management boards that are answerable to him.
I then wrote to premier Brumby to express my disappointment in the total lack of support for CFA volunteers by Minister Cameron and Minister Jennings and explained that small rewards such as access to alpine resorts help us retain volunteers into the future and asked for his support for our volunteers where his Ministers had failed. The reply from the premier’s department was shorter than the one from minister Cameron “thank you for your letter I appreciate the time taken to express your views” after numerous phone calls to the department and being fobbed off every time on the 19th of may I went to the premiers department thinking that face to face I might get some sort of a meaningful reply. No after four attempts by the security desk staff to get someone to come to talk to me it became clear that the frightened little mice of the premiers department would not come out from behind their security screens to talk to the scary fire brigade captain.
The brass plaque at the regional HQ presented by John Brumby thanking our fire fighters for risking their lives during black Saturday is worthless without some practical support as well.
HOW QUICKLEY THEY FORGET
The only other solution I can now think of is to park some big red trucks in front the resort entry ticket booths during the ski season that must get a response but maybe other members might have a better idea.
Whiteheads Creek Tarcombe fire brigade