Member for Western Victoria James Purcell will not support the government’s proposed legislation to restructure the CFA.
Mr Purcell, whose vote is most likely critical to the bill passing, made the decision yesterday after extensive local community consultation.
“In all good conscience I cannot support a bill that is not supported by the unpaid volunteers,” Mr Purcell said.
“The CFA is an institution and volunteers are the backbones of our communities. I certainly cannot support anything that would jeopardise the position of the volunteers or the CFA.”
Mr Purcell has been undertaking extensive consultation throughout the electorate, with meetings at Hawkesdale, Macarthur, Port Fairy, Koroit, Portland, Heywood and Purnim.
“At each meeting there was a sense of distrust from the volunteers and many comments about the lack of consultation with the volunteers.
“We approached the government last year with a planned consultation process for the CFA but this has not taken place.
“If the volunteers had been consulted and were on board we would have supported the bill, but they have not been consulted and do not support a proposal that has a huge amount of grey areas.”
Mr Purcell said he would put up the presumptive legislation as a Private Member’s Bill if required to ensure this portion of the legislation was implemented.