BULLETIN
Bulletin No: 047 | 19 April 2019

To: ALL UFU MEMBERS 

 

ONE YEAR ON …

GOOD FRIDAY TREACHERY REMAINS DARK DAY IN VICTORIAN PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY

 

As members will recall, it was on this public holiday last year that the marathon parliamentary debate of the crucial fire service reform and presumptive legislation bill abruptly came to an end in the Victorian Upper House with the unprecedented treacherous sin committed by the Victorian Liberals.

In the midst of the conservatives’ filibustering, the Liberals devised a plan to have two of their party’s most faithful – both politically and religiously – request a pair on religious grounds. 

Pairs are requested by politicians for reasons such as illness or religious observance.  Where a pair is requested, an equal number of MPs from the other political party must observe the pairing convention and abstain from any vote so as to not prejudice the party who has requested the pair/s. 

After each making a tearful plea regarding the prospect of working on Good Friday, Liberal MPs Craig Ondarchie and Bernie Finn were each granted a pair.  However, the two decided to hide in their offices in the wee hours of Good Friday only to slither back into the House at the time of the vote – effectively giving the conservatives the numbers to vote down the bill.

Following this disrespectful and treacherous act, Liberal head Matthew Guy claimed to be “proud” of the sins committed by two of among his party’s most religious and claimed he would “do it again tomorrow”. 

The trashing of the parliamentary convention remains unduplicated here and will likely remain that way – unless politicians stoops as low as the Liberals did on Good Friday last year.  

In the time since Good Friday 2018, our state has continued to outgrow our antiquated fire service.  As more people continue to sprawl into urban and regional hot spots and growth corridors, the pressure on our fire service continues to mount. 

Similarly, and regretfully, during this time career firefighters have been diagnosed with occupational cancer/s without a presumptive scheme in place for assistance and peace of mind. 

The Good Friday treachery committed by the Liberals will remain one of the darkest days in Victorian parliamentary history – for trashing long-standing and respected convention, for robbing all Victorians of a safer and efficient fire service and for denying all firefighters their presumptive legislation.

 

Strength in Unity
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Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary