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Vic deputy premier to hand over fire docs

AAP logoAAP 29/09/2016

Victoria's Deputy Premier James Merlino has to hand over documents to the Supreme Court in a fight over a new pay deal for firefighters.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Jack Forrest on Thursday ordered Mr Merlino, who is also emergency services minister, and the newly appointed chair of the CFA board, Greg Smith, to make the relevant documents available.

Volunteer firefighters and the CFA are in court over a controversial new pay deal for career firefighters, which led to the resignations of emergency services minister Jane Garrett, CFA chief executive Lucinda Nolan and CFA chief fire officer Joe Buffone.

Government departments, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and Finance, will not have to surrender documents that had been requested.

Justice Forrest said they "did not relate to a genuine issue in the trial".

In Victoria's upper house, United Firefighters' Union boss Peter Marshall said the controversy around the new deals could lead to a suicide or mass exodus.

He urged politicians to be careful with the rhetoric they used around the dispute over new CFA and MFB pay deals, which have dragged on for years.

"I'm very, very frightened that we're going to end up with a suicide or alternatively, mass exodus," Mr Marshall told a Victorian upper house inquiry on Thursday.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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