Cash interview shows why federal firefighting intervention must be blocked

UFU MEDIA RELEASE: 23 August 2016

Cash interview shows why federal firefighting intervention must be blocked

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s repeated failure yesterday to justify federal intervention in the CFA confirms she is playing politics rather than acting in the public
interest.

Under questioning on Sky TV yesterday Minister Cash was repeatedly unable to point to any clauses in the firefighters enterprise agreement to justifying her claims of a
‘UFU takeover’.

The Minister was unable to explain even the most basic points in relation to the agreement.

“The fact is there are no clauses in the firefighters agreement that give over control of the CFA,” said Peter Marshall, UFU secretary.

“Parts of the agreement that relate to career firefighters being consulted are there to protect both volunteer and career firefighters who have learnt they can not trust the
CFA with their welfare.

“Currently there are thousands of firefighters waiting on tests to determine whether they are carrying life-threatening toxins after exposure at the CFA facility.

“Sadly, Minister Cash has done nothing to support the thousands of volunteer firefighters exposed to toxic contaminants at the Fiskville CFA training site.

“The victims of Fiskville who were exposed to chemicals like benzene, toluene, xylene, phenol, arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, zinc, and other cancerous substances
during training activities can’t even get proper blood tests and diagnosis.

“After key points made by the Minister in the Herald Sun were proven incorrect yesterday, the Minister was still unable to explain even the most basic points in
relation to the agreement.

“Rather than whipping up fear based on lies, the Minister could be acting to make sure this kind of life threatening toxic exposure never happens again,” said Mr Marshall.

Media contact:
Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857