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Federal moves to protect volunteer firies

AAP logoAAP 22/08/2016

HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PLANS TO PROTECT VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS

* Introduce the Fair Work Amendment (Respect for Emergency Services Volunteers) Bill 2016 to parliament on August 31.

* Invalidates parts of enterprise agreements that undermine the capacity of firefighting or state emergency services to manage volunteer operations.

* Stops agreements that limit organisations from engaging or deploying volunteers, or providing support or equipment to those volunteers.

* Stops agreements that limit organisations that want to recognise, value, respect or promote the contribution of volunteers to community wellbeing and safety.

* Strike out terms in agreements that are inconsistent with state or territory laws.

* Gives volunteer organisations the right to make submissions in Fair Work Commission agreement approval proceedings.

* Will only apply to agreements approved after the federal legislation comes into effect - which may be too late for Victoria's volunteer firefighters.

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