Geelong Advertiser - - YPOUR SAY - Si­mon Ram­say MLC

MORALE at the Coun­try Fire Author­ity is at an all-time low.

There is never a good time for such a prob­lem, least still on the eve of what is loom­ing as a dan­ger­ous fire sea­son. Fuel loads are high.

The dis­pute with the An­drews Govern­ment and the CFA has drained en­thu­si­asm from our vol­un­teers — the very peo­ple who will face these fires on our be­half.

Many CFA vol­un­teers are telling me that the while brigade vol­un­teers will turn out to fight fires, they are do­ing so with di­min­ish­ing morale.

These are the men and women for whom the CFA has been a cen­tral part of their lives. They’re shak­ing their heads.

To blame is the con­tin­u­ing brawl cour­tesy of the An­drews Govern­ment and the United Fire­fight­ers Union. They punch at the very stuff that has made coun­try Vic­to­ria great — our vol­un­teers. They ques­tion their ca­pac­ity. They claw at their self­less­ness. This sit­u­a­tion can­not con­tinue.

Un­for­tu­nately, re­lent­less pur­suit of con­trol by the UFU of fire ser­vices in Vic­to­ria through a new EBA can only be stopped by a royal com­mis­sion into our fire ser­vices. It will ex­pose the push by the UFU sec­re­tary Peter Mar­shall for to­tal con­trol.

We all re­mem­ber the UFU’s pres­ence at polling booths dur­ing the last state elec­tion.

These are the con­se­quences.

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