In the strongest move yet to protect CFA Volunteers in Victoria,
the Turnbull/Joyce Government has passed the Fair Work Amendment (Respect for
Emergency Services Volunteers) Bill with the assistance of the majority of
Committee Chair, Senator Bridget McKenzie said she was
particularly impressed that several interstate crossbench senators had attended
hearings in regional and metropolitan Victoria.
“This demonstrated a commitment to this issue, a commitment to
deliver fairness to CFA volunteers in Victoria.
“They heard direct evidence from CFA volunteers which I believe
convinced the committee members of the rights of their cause.
“The CFA, who manage the
majority of firefighting volunteers, paid employees and brigades across
Victoria, have been the subject of an EBA process that has damaged not only the
culture within the CFA but pitted firefighters who should be working together
for the safety of our communities against each other.
“This is a victory for men and women who have fought to defend the CFA and the role of its volunteers.
“For 70 years, CFA volunteers have protected Victorian communities, now we have taken action to protect them,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The ALP’s failure to support this bill and our volunteers is deplorable, these volunteers needed to have a say when industrial relations matters impact on their capacity to do their jobs.
“This bill gives them the support that they need to have a say on EBA arrangements that were seeking to undermine their operations.
“I was proud to chair the committee and to support these hard
working volunteers as we prepare for another summer firefighting season”,
Senator McKenzie said.