VFBV should focus on protecting firefighters not playing politics

UFU MEDIA RELEASE 

Wednesday August 17 2016

 VFBV should focus on protecting firefighters not playing politics 

The Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria’s (VFBV) latest court action relating to the enterprise agreement once again demonstrates that they are more interested in playing politics than in protecting firefighters and protecting Victorians.

Instead of focusing on what really matters the VFBV has chosen to continue wasting taxpayer dollars waging a political war against the Andrews Government on behalf of the Liberal Party.

“Prior to the Federal election we saw a cynical attempt by the Liberal Party to manipulate the CFA for its own political purposes. Dummy websites were created, data was collected and funds were secretly directed to Liberal Party coffers under the guise of saving the CFA”, said Peter Marshall, United Firefighters Secretary.

“Victoria’s fire services are not a political play thing. Victorians rightly expect career and volunteer firefighters to get back to work protecting them with the onset of another fire season

“Instead, the VFBV continues trying to divide career and volunteer firefighters and undermine morale by spreading misinformation and launching politically motivated legal action.

“Its little wonder that many volunteer Brigades have publicly stated that the VFBV does not speak for them. They just want to get on with the job of fighting fires and protecting their communities.”

Victoria’s Emergency Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley stated today, that the CFA dispute had ‘almost become war between career and volunteer firefighters’ which ‘had to stop’. He also reaffirmed that the enterprise agreement ‘would not affect volunteers roles.’

Mr Marshall said that the time had come for the VFBV to stop playing politics and for career and volunteer firefighters to focus on the business of protecting firefighters and protecting the community.

“If the VFBV wants to stand up for its members, it should support the ‘Justice for Fiskville’ Campaign by helping to identify firefighters who’ve been exposed to contamination at Fiskville to ensure they receive proper blood testing and medical support.

“Given that the VFBV had members on the former CFA board who were found by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Fiskville to have had clear knowledge of the contamination and risk to firefighter safety for years, it’s unlikely the VFBV will now step up and take responsibility for protecting its own members.”

Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405