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From the CO - fire services reform
I'd like to clarify my comments regarding fire services reform in the media today.
Let me make clear that while we continue to work through the detail of the Victorian Government’s announcement – some facts are already clear and indisputable.
Firstly, no volunteer brigade will be worse off when it comes to equipment and assets. In addition the State Government has allocated more than $100 million in extra funding to further support CFA volunteers so the suggestion that volunteer brigades will be short changed is nonsense.
Secondly, when it comes to employment arrangements for Fire Rescue Victoria – these will be decisions made by the FRV Commissioner in consultation with CFA. The legislation places an obligation on FRV to support CFA.
My message has been clear that volunteers at both CFA integrated stations and brigades will continue to play an essential role in responding to and managing incidents.
The government’s legislation protects the powers of the Chief Officer as per Section 27 of the CFA Act.
I also want to point out underpinning the establishment of FRV will be a Heads of Agreement between the Chief and the FRV Commissioner.
Under these reforms, we will have a new, collaborative framework to work together, as one – in and around FRV areas.
My priority remains clear, providing an assurance to the Victorian community that they will continue to remain in safe hands with our fire services and providing certainty for our people at CFA that their critical role is highly valued.
CFA Chief Officer