Let­ter to the ed­i­tor:

The Tatura Guardian - - News - — Bill Stock­dale, Tatura

Claim back the CFA

The Pre­mier has con­firmed that he plans to pro­ceed with the dis­man­tling of the CFA by in­tro­duc­ing his so called ‘‘Re­form’’ Leg­is­la­tion after the elec­tion.

This flawed pro­posal, cre­ated be­hind closed doors, with­out con­sul­ta­tion and de­void of cost­ings, is a po­lit­i­cally con­trived plan, bla­tantly and falsely be­ing sold to vol­un­teers and the wider pub­lic, as ‘‘Re­form’’.

The pub­lic is not told that the sole ba­sis of this leg­is­la­tion is to cir­cum­vent Fed­eral Leg­is­la­tion and the CFA Act, pro­vi­sions specif­i­cally put in place to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of vol­un­teers against ex­ter­nal in­dus­trial in­flu­ences, which neg­a­tively im­pact on their vi­tal role.

This dam­ag­ing pro­posal un­der­mines the fact that the suc­cess and ef­fi­ciency of the CFA lies in the in­te­grated model, where vol­un­teers and ca­reer fire­fight­ers work side by side in a seam­less work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, based on a spirit of co-op­er­a­tion and com­mon pur­pose.

Sadly, the key com­po­nent de­manded by the in­dus­trial mantra be­hind the gov­ern­ments changes, will see an end to this col­lab­o­ra­tive model that has stood the test of time.

In ex­am­in­ing the fine print in the leg­is­la­tion, Jack Rush QC, Coun­sel as­sist­ing at the Black Satur­day Royal Com­mis­sion, has de­scribed the pro­posal as ‘‘an emas­cu­la­tion of ar­guably the most renowned fire ser­vice in the world’’.

We all agree that our fire ser­vices must keep pace with devel­op­ment and de­mo­graph­ics in a chang­ing com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ment.

How­ever, de­spite what the gov­ern­ment’s spin doc­tors say, the pro­posed changes pro­vide no more ad­di­tional ser­vice ca­pac­ity, ef­fi­ciency or ser­vice in­ter­op­er­abil­ity than can be im­ple­mented to­day un­der the cur­rent struc­ture.

In fact, and of se­ri­ous con­cern, the pro­posed changes ac­tu­ally fur­ther frag­ment and dis­rupt our fire ser­vices, by plac­ing it un­der ever-in­creas­ing and re­strain­ing in­dus­trial im­ped­i­ments. It is the wrong plan for the times. This is not a po­lit­i­cal cam­paign by CFA vol­un­teers. They don’t have the power and might of a union be­hind them, but sim­ply de­mand fair­ness and so­cial jus­tice.

All vol­un­teers ask for is to be val­ued, re­spected, con­sulted and to be given the right to play a mean­ing­ful part in an or­gan­i­sa­tion on an equal foot­ing.

This de­mands a man­age­ment com­mit­ted to vol­un­teer wel­fare and ethics, un­fet­tered by rigid in­dus­trial con­trols.

Let the com­ing state elec­tion be a clar­ion call for vot­ers.

Claim back the CFA.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.