The Nationals Gippsland South Fire

Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien says a new Liberal and Nationals plan for a Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services will restore the confidence of local communities and volunteers in the CFA.

The policy announced by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh will take the politics out of the bitter dispute over Victoria’s fire services.

“The pledge for a Royal Commission is about ensuring we protect those who protect us,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We’ve heard from many volunteers they feel there is no longer any one left to stand up for them and to represent their interests. I’ve spoken to a number of volunteers who are just fed up with the constant barrage of bad news about our fire services.

“In the past year both the CFA and MFB boards have been replaced, resulting in more than 100 years of experience being lost.

“Serious allegations of bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment and discrimination within Victoria’s fire services have been brought to light in a series of reports but completely overlooked by the Andrews Labor Government.”

Mr O’Brien said the ongoing dispute over the CFA and MFB’s enterprise bargaining agreements had led to concerns about operational effectiveness.

“The implications the EBA has on community safety, and the process and conduct of these negotiations will be a key area of investigation by the Royal Commission,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said there was serious concern among his communities that Daniel Andrew had damaged Victoria’s fire services.

“A Royal Commission which is completely independent of government is now vital and urgent,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There have been a number of previous attempts at reform for our fire services, as well as attempts to fix cultural and operational problems but nothing has worked.

“A Royal Commission will be able to critically examine the issues our fire services are facing and come up with evidence based solutions.”

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Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, welcomes the plan for a Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services. 

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