CFA Split

MR CRISP — The pain in the Country Fire Authority (CFA) as a result of the divisive leadership of this government continues with the latest 'fix it' move by a government somehow under the control of the United Firefighters Union (UFU). The plan is for currently integrated brigades like Mildura to be split into two separate brigades — a paid firefighter Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) brigade and a separate CFA volunteer brigade — co-located in the existing facility. In Mildura the volunteers have a small room to the side of the engine bay where they have been quarantined for a number of years. Also, how will the equipment be divided up in Mildura's case? I doubt they will be given much, ensuring the continued isolation of the volunteers. Remember this is a fire station that has been badged as 'the UFU', leaving nobody in doubt that it is not a CFA station but a branch of the UFU.

I also have concerns about the model for changing boundaries. Instead of the process involving local government, a new district review panel will undertake periodic reviews to determine any future changes to areas covered by the FRV and the CFA. This will be pointless as the Mildura brigade has got a long history of self-responding, so wherever the boundaries are they are going to attempt to further undermine the volunteers in the surrounding brigades. It is clearly not acceptable for those volunteers who freely give their time for the respect of a community to be disrespected in such a way.

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