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Save the volunteers who save us

Dear Editor

I cannot believe that Daniel Andrews is still trying to destroy the Country Fire Authority and its volunteers.

Dan has pulled together a secret taskforce to work out how to broaden the control of the United Fire Fighters Union (UFU), at the expense of CFA volunteers.  And our safety.

And yet it is very believable given his love affair with the union.

Actually, it is more than a love affair – it’s a big IOU – emanating from the scandalous behaviour of UFU members at the last state election.

Remember the message-laden fire trucks doing circle work around our towns spreading mistruths?  Remember the union members’ in-your-face efforts at every polling booth?

Dan certainly remembers them – and was so grateful for the scaremongering and bad blood it generated.

Yes, Dan gained office, but he also gained a union noose around his neck that is starting to get rather tight.

The Premier has cut $47 million from the Emergency Management budget and has broken his promise to support firefighters with cancer, having failed to introduce presumptive legislation within his promised 18 months of election.

Splitting the CFA will only serve to reduce our safety in times of need and see more volunteers give up.

It wasn’t all career – paid – firefighters who saved thousands of lives on Black Saturday, or from fires before or since that disaster.  Lives and homes were saved by the 57,000 CFA volunteers.

Protecting the role and rights of volunteer firefighters is deep-rooted within the country Victorian psyche which intimately understands the immensity of volunteerism and in particular, CFA volunteers.

If Victorians in need have to wait for paid firefighters to come – then the wait could be long.

If you care for your town, your rural landscapes, your farms, your families, your friends and your futures – then please stand up now and let Dan Andrews understand just how important CFA volunteers are to us all.