MP Maxwell fears death of the CFA

By Ivy Jensen

MEMBER for Northern Victoria and CFA volunteer Tania Maxwell has called on all CFA volunteers to wear a black armband with their uniforms with the new Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) fire service in effect from July 1.

Ms Maxwell called on incoming temporary CFA chief executive Catherine Greaves to publicly release the draft agreement and commit to not signing the document until volunteers were given the opportunity to scrutinise the agreement and provide feedback.

Ms Maxwell said she joined with her fellow CFA volunteers across Victoria in being disheartened and concerned by the lack of consultation, evidenced by the recent resignation of CFA chief executive Steve Warrington.

Ms Maxwell said the lack of transparency around the agreement was an ominous sign of what was ahead for the CFA.

“Volunteers feel let down and unappreciated by this entire process, and it is heartbreaking,” she said.

Ms Maxwell strongly opposed the legislative changes to Victoria’s fire structure in 2019 and at the time expressed grave fears the proposed changes would divide emergency services in Victoria.

She said volunteers feared the reforms would turn the CFA into a second-class service with budget concerns and a lack of access to future training.

“For many of them, this may be the last straw,” she said.

“Unfortunately, I fear the death of the volunteer fire service.”

Ms Maxwell offered her ongoing support to CFA volunteer brigades and said she would continue to speak loudly on the issue.