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Russel Northe MLA:
Ministers Reply Sought on CFA Tankers
118 days after, no response yet from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.
By Portal Admin - 28th September 2020 - Back to News
Member for Morwell Russell Northe has expressed his disappointment in the State Governments failure to provide a response to questions posed in Parliament way back in May and in regard to the use of local CFA 4 x 4 tankers.
Mr Northe said he asked his questions to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, 118 days ago and despite the Minister being required to respond within the required 30 days, no reply has been forthcoming.
Mr Northe said, "I asked two simple questions to the Minister on behalf of local CFA personnel and volunteers and for those questions to be unanswered for this period, I feel is extremely disrespectful to local fire-fighters".
"The Latrobe Valley is unique in many ways and the use of 4 x 4 tankers in plantations, bush and even mines are critical to responding to an emergency in these environments", Mr Northe said.
"It is my understanding that 4 x 4 tankers were to remain a CFA volunteer asset under the Governments FRV/CFA model that came into place on 1 July 2020", Mr Northe continued.
There has been much consternation surrounding the new FRV/CFA model including the abolishment of the Commander, critical infrastructure and major incidents role within the Latrobe Valley.
"With the Minister and the Government failing to respond to my questions in Parliament, it does give some concern as to what the Governments motives are", Mr Northe said.
"There has been some speculation that 4 x 4 tankers will be transferred from CFA volunteers to FRV at integrated stations, or even that additional tankers would be commissioned and provided directly to FRV within these same stations" Mr Northe said.
"If either of those options are seriously being considered by the Government then they should just say so" Mr Northe continued.
"But it would be a sad day and a kick in the guts for CFA volunteers if this was the case, as it almost suggests that our volunteers who have served our communities so determinedly for decades on end and in the most serious of events are not capable of turning out when needed" Mr Northe said.
"I do fear that the morale and the number of CFA volunteers would be compromised even further, and that’s not something any of us would like to see in Regional Victoria" said Mr Northe.
"The Minister must state what the Governments position is in relation to these important matters and not leave CFA personnel and volunteers in limbo" Mr Northe concluded.
See link to questions here: Russell Northe - Questions on Notice
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