Victorians are now seeing the damage caused by Daniel Andrews’ war on the CFA as bushfires continue to put lives and property at risk.
In Parliament today, Daniel Andrews dodged questions about a letter from the CFA linking his failure to do enough planned burning due to the loss of thousands of CFA volunteers.
In a recent letter to all CFA volunteers from the Project Manager of the CFA’s ‘Planned Burning Taskforce Pilot’ it stated: “CFA’s capacity to undertake planned burning has been restricted by a lack of volunteer numbers.”
The most recent CFA Annual Report reveals that there were 3,749 fewer operational volunteers in June 2018 than in June 2014. The Report the Andrews Labor Government refused to release before the election and then attempted to hide by tabling it at 5 pm in the week before Christmas.
It’s clear to everyone that the Premier’s War on CFA volunteers has led to this reduction in volunteer numbers and consequently put Victorians at risk.
Since Daniel Andrews became Premier, the number of operational volunteer firefighters plunged from 38,335 in June 2014 to 34,586 in June 2018. That’s 3,749 less operational firefighters available to conduct backburning and a huge reduction is the surge capacity to protect Victorians.
As we are now starting to see, the damage done by Daniel Andrews to the CFA will continue to have short and long term consequences for Victorians safety.
Brad Battin MP
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services