Monday, 22 May 2017

Victoria has some of the best firefighters in the world, but they currently operate under systems and structures that have not changed since the 1950s.

The Labor Government’s changes, outlined as part of the Fire Services Statement, will respond to these issues, and ensure Victorians can rely on modern and local fire services to keep them safe, regardless of where they live.

The CFA will revert to a volunteer-only firefighting service and the role of volunteers further enshrined under law.

CFA brigades here in the Valley will continue to serve their communities as they have always done, as well as providing vital surge capacity during major emergencies.

Traralgon and Morwell  Fire Stations will now be included in the new organisation, Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV). )

FRV will be established to fight fires in Melbourne and major regional centres, in much-needed and overdue reforms to the state’s fire services that will keep Victorians safe.

CFA volunteers currently serving at these two integrated stations will be able to remain at that station, co-locating with FRV services.

Additionally, we’ll make sure CFA volunteers have the equipment and support they need, with more than a $100 million in funding for volunteer recruitment, training, equipment and facility upgrades.

We’ll also deliver long-awaited presumptive rights to cancer compensation for firefighters – career and volunteer – to ensure that all firefighters have support when they need it most.

These reforms will build on the strengths of our firefighters, while allowing for the positive changes needed to create a modern and responsive fire service.

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Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino:

We’ll enshrine the CFA as a volunteer firefighting service under law and unite our career firefighters under one organisation.”

“We will also drive cultural change – with real and ambitious targets to increase the number of female firefighters in our fire services, particularly in leadership roles.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing:

These changes deliver presumptive legislation for all firefighters, and a modern fire service that will deliver more training, equipment and facilities to firefighters all over the state”.

“As Victoria’s population continues to grow it’s vital that we create more opportunities for people to volunteer or begin a career in firefighting, and to be properly respected and recognised for all that they do in protecting life and property”.