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Union boss denies threatening Vic minister

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016 By Luke Costin

Firefighters union boss Peter Marshall has categorically denied allegations he threatened a Victorian minister before she resigned over the CFA pay dispute.

Fairfax and News Corp Australia on Friday published statements from unnamed sources who say they saw Mr Marshall warn former emergency services minister Jane Garrett during a meeting that she could be physically attacked.

"The United Firefighters Union National Secretary Peter Marshall categorically denies the allegations contained in today's Australian Financial Review and Herald Sun in particular in relation to statements falsely attributed to him as having been made to Ms Jane Garrett and others," the statement reads.

"Mr Marshall reserves his rights against any party that reports on these allegations."

Ms Garrett, CFA chief executive Lucinda Nolan, the CFA board and CFA chief officer Joe Buffone have all resigned or been sacked after opposing the CFA agreement.

The latest fire chief to come out against the proposed pay deal, MFB chief officer Peter Rau, has written to the government arguing the brigade's ability to fight "rapidly evolving" security threats would be diminished if a workplace agreement similar to that proposed for the CFA was forced on his organisation.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday said he backed "each and every member" of Victoria's fire services - including Mr Rau - to fight fires and keep the community safe.

"I support every member of the team to do their job, the chief included," he told reporters.

That backing does not rule out changes to the operation of the organisation, however.

"If you look at the Fire Services Review, there are things that need to change in the MFB and the CFA and my very simple proposition to you is that none of that change will get made until we end this industrial warfare," Mr Andrews said.

Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch on Friday said the premier was "an out-of-control arsonist with an out-of-control bushfire" for standing with the union in the CFA dispute.

"I think they are totally wrong on this one, I do not like what Premier Andrews has done," Mr Hinch told the Melbourne Press Club.

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