Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh says The Nationals will do everything in their power to rescue and restore the independence and pride of the CFA.
Mr Walsh said last week’s latest resignation of yet another CFA chief officer must be seen as the final straw.
He said the Andrews Labor Government has made promises and then blithely broken them.
“The comments in Friday’s Riverine Herald in Echuca from Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville saying ‘for the majority of volunteers, nothing will change under Fire Rescue Victoria’ are an insult,” Mr Walsh said.
“Proof of this betrayal has emerged in recent weeks as decisions have been made and communicated without any VFBV involvement or volunteer consultation.
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria chief executive said “we cannot forgive them for stacking the deck by giving one stakeholder an unassailable veto power that is as broad as it is absolute – VFBV warned how this unprecedented power could be misused to debilitating effect, and we are now seeing that play out”
Echuca CFA captain Rob Amos, who has met with Mr Walsh, said the biggest disappointment is all his brigade is worried about the CFA losing control over its destiny.
“We are like the poor cousin, they are throwing some money at us now but probably just to try and keep us quiet,” Mr Amos said.
“The CFA has lost thousands of members in recent years and I know many in my brigade are angry and disappointed,” he said.
“We are not being shown the respect earned the hard way by generations of volunteers in small stations across regional Victoria.
“But my goal, our goal, is to continue on even though our future is very clouded, and we are not sure how it will pan out.
“I have told the Echuca brigade we must focus on our job, to protect our community, and we will keep doing our best.”
Mr Walsh said he expected nothing less here, pointing to the legions of volunteer locals who risked their lives all over the country during summer’s bushfires.
“How can all these men and women ever trust the Andrews Labor Government again in the face of such intransigence?”