Media Release

18 August 2017

Battin: Parliamentary report into Fire Services legislation

Friday 18 August 2017

Parliamentary report into Fire Services legislation

The Parliamentary report into the Fire Services legislation has recommended that Daniel Andrews’ own department be referred for investigation for interference with the Committee’s inquiry as well as finding that the bill may limit the capacity of the CFA Chief Officer to exercise operational control over seconded firefighters in a bushfire.

The inquiry found “the actions of DPC constitute a material obstruction of the processes of the Committee, including the giving of evidence”.

The key issue is did Daniel Andrews, his office or members of his government, know or direct DPC to politically interfere with the Committee.

The report also concluded that there has been significant lack of consultation with volunteers, fire services management and career firefighters. Throughout the two years of this dispute, Daniel Andrews has made an art form of disrespecting and playing politics with Victoria’s 60,000 CFA volunteers.

Victoria’s 60,000 CFA volunteers help keep lives and property safe but Daniel Andrews and his union puppet-masters are tearing this organisation apart.  On page 16 of the report, the Committee found that the Andrews Government “demonstrated substantially greater trust in the UFU” rather than its own fire services.

The report also concludes that Presumptive Rights Compensation that would help protect firefighters should be introduced to the Parliament as a separate bill.

There also remain serious questions about another Andrews Labor Government cover-up over the investigation into sexual harassment and bullying in the fire services.  The Committee found that the Andrews Labor Government’s attempts to claim executive privilege over the VEOHRC report is inconsistent with the commission’s stated intention of publicly releasing its report in mid-2017.

Daniel Andrews is playing politics with the safety of Victorians.  The Liberal Nationals will protect those who protect us.