Chesters calls on Federal Government to stay out of Victorian firefighter dispute

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, has today called on the Federal Government to leave it to the Victorian State Government to resolve the dispute between the United Firefighters Union and the Country Fire Authority.

“It’s their mess to clean up,” said Ms Chesters. “It’s my understanding that of the 90 plus CFA brigades in the Bendigo electorate none of them will be affected by the proposal.

“I proudly and loudly support all of our emergency service workers regardless of whether they are volunteers or employees.

“At the coal face, our CFA volunteers and career fire fighters work closely together to ensure our communities are safe.

“Like all locals, I am truly grateful for their service. They are local heroes and Central Victoria would be lost without them.

“Can you imagine a Central Victorian bush fire season without them?” said Ms Chesters.

The Federal Member for Bendigo has slammed the Prime Minister and the Liberal party for being hypocritical and creating hysteria for political gain.

“We all know the Liberals hate unions and the workers they represent. It’s disappointing the Liberals are using this dispute to pursue their own political agenda.

“This is the same Liberal Government that shut down the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) on Mount Macedon and transferred its operations back to Canberra.

“Prior to this announcement AEMI trained local CFA volunteers higher up the chain of command to ensure they had the skills and expertise they needed,” said Ms Chesters.
“Labor values our CFA volunteers.  It was the former Federal Labor Government that introduced emergency services leave into the Fair Work Act so that our CFA volunteers could take time out to do what they do. 

“I will continue to be a strong voice for our CFA and emergency service workers and volunteers. They sacrifice so much for our community and as their local MP I will continue to support them,” said Ms Chesters.