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Martin Cameron - Volunteers say CFA is 'broken' under Labor

Victorian Nationals

Martin Cameron – Volunteers say CFA is ‘broken’ under Labor

Friday, 15th December 2023

The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, has renewed calls for the Allan Government to urgently increase funding for CFAs in the Latrobe Valley after brigade captains claimed the organisation is “broken” under Labor.

Brigades have warned they are in a worse position than before the catastrophic Black Summer fire season and said volunteer numbers are plummeting at “a million miles an hour”.

Visiting the Hazelwood North CFA last week with Opposition Leader, John Pesutto, Mr Cameron heard brigades across the region are being forced to make-do with outdated equipment and sheds that are not fit for use.

“For many years, the Hazelwood North Fire Brigade has been promised a new station. They have been waiting so long that the land allocated to them by council is in danger of being reallocated if not put to use,” Mr Cameron said.

“To say their current facility is not fit for purpose would be an understatement. The building is a single roller door shed and a meeting room the brigade built themselves.

“There is no room for volunteers to park without obstructing access to the tanker and ultralite appliances, and they are located on a dangerous stretch of road where the speed limit is 100/kph. Critically, they do not have 24-hour access to the station via an appropriate road.”

The Tyers CFA – which supports Traralgon, Glengarry, Yallourn North, Erica, Rawson and Walhalla – is forced to house its rapid response vehicle off-site in Traralgon West some 20km due to a lack of room in its shed.

The Morwell CFA has made known its desire to remain separate from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) on several occasions, but volunteers have been told they will be forced to co-locate with paid staff at a new FRV station on Princes Drive.

“The state is haemorrhaging billions of dollars on blowout projects in Melbourne while our volunteers are on their knees and crying out for help so they can continue their selfless, life-saving work,” Mr Cameron said.

“I am imploring the Minister for Emergency Services and the Allan Labor Government to listen to volunteers and provide adequate funding for our CFA brigades in acknowledgement of the critical role they play in our communities.”


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