Bulletin No: 165 Volume: 22 Monday 10 October 2016
To: ALL UFU MEMBERS
AUSTRALIAN SENATE COMMITTEE
TO REPORT TODAY ON
FAIR WORK AMENDMENT INQUIRY
The Australian Senate Committee will report back this morning on the Fair Work Amendment (Respect for Emergency Services Volunteers) Bill 2016.
It is expected that there will be two reports tabled tomorrow – the Chair Report for the Government and a Dissenting Report from Labor and the Greens Committee members with Senators from across the political spectrum to speak on their views of the Bill.
It is likely that the Bill will be voted on today.
The Committee is headed by Victorian Nationals MP Senator Bridget McKenzie with Victorian Labor Senator Gavin Marshall as Deputy Chair with Senators Doug Cameron (ALP), Lee Rhiannon(Greens), Jane Hume (Lib) and James Paterson (Lib).
Senators from across the political spectrum have shown their interest with One Nation Senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts and Independent Jacqui Lambie attending the public hearings. Justice Party Senator Derryn Hinch appeared briefly at the Melbourne hearing.
The Bill was introduced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull late August after using the CFA UFU Operational Staff Agreement as a political football for the federal election. The Liberal Coalition Government ensured the Inquiry into the Bill was fast-tracked Senate Standing Legislation Committee on Education and Employment only being given four weeks to gather and consider the evidence. The public was provided with only 7 days to provide written submissions and only two hearings were held significantly limiting the numbers of witnesses that could appear.
Despite the tight timeframes 16 of the 35 CFA integrated stations provided powerful evidence in written submissions signed off by career and volunteer firefighters supporting the proposed EBA and denouncing the lies propagated by those that had been misinformed or were being deliberately destructive for political means.
Those firefighters then supported their evidence with professional testimonies at the Hearing held in Macedon on the 19th September 2016. Their evidence clearly demonstrated the need for the provisions in the proposed EBA that will provide greater interoperability and the enhanced community and firefighter safety.
The UFU Victoria Branch provided a comprehensive evidence-based submission documenting the basis for the proposed CFA UFU EBA and dispelling the misinformation and lies about the provisions and implication, and detailing the context of the manufactured dispute including the politicisation of the bargaining and the extensive vilification of career firefighters.
The Victoria Branch was supported with a submission from the United Firefighters Union of Australia national office and Aviation, ACT, Tasmania, SA and Queensland Branch submissions.
A full report on the Inquiry and the outcome of the Senate debates today will be provided at the Special General Members meetings on Wednesday.
Strength in Unity
READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD
Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary