20th January 2016
Whilst the Coalition supports an open and transparent review of the management of a fire response by Emergency Management Victoria, it’s disappointing but not surprising to find Peter Marshall the Secretary of the UFU playing politics and creating unnecessary distrust to the vulnerable, bushfire affected communities in Wye River and Separation Creek.
Instead of commending all of our brave firefighters and many other members of the community who have worked tirelessly in battling the Wye River fires, Peter Marshall and the UFU politically high-jacked this natural disaster for its own use during its EBA negotiations, ironically against the very government it helped get elected.
The irony is probably lost on the UFU with its self-absorbed excessive sense of entitlement, it has forgotten the Andrews Labor Government supported it in closing the CFA training facility at Fiskville, giving it control over the inflated priced training packages at the facility at Craigieburn.
The irony continues with a government sponsored, UFU-backed, parliamentary inquiry into Fiskville which has meandered its way through thousands of submissions, interim reports, had more extensions than a hairdresser and one day will no doubt provide an outcome that has already been agreed to by the UFU and Andrews Government .
Now the story has taken an ugly turn with the UFU and Andrews Government’s ‘love-in’ over, and evidence being heard that Fiskville could continue as a training facility with a new fire pad and modern water reticulation plant – meanwhile the UFU is no closer to an EBA agreement with its former de-facto.
The fact that the UFU seized the plight of fire ravaged communities in Western Victoria as political fodder to be used as pawns in its industrial fight with the government is shameful and inexcusable.
As the old saying goes, if you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas.
Simon Ramsay MP