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Vic premier won't back down over CFA fight

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews maintains he never knew of any complaint about the behaviour of United Firefighters Union boss Peter Marshall who's been accused of bullying a former minister.

The premier on Wednesday was asked whether former emergency services minister Jane Garrett raised concerns about Mr Marshall's behaviour with him directly.

"I've had many conversations with Jane about many different issues (but) I don't propose to be going into the details of those," Mr Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.

But the Labor leader stood by his comments on Tuesday - and to parliament earlier this month - that he'd not been aware of "complaints" against Mr Marshall.

"I've dealt with this matter yesterday and my answers stand," the premier said on Wednesday.

"I'm very conscious that any complaint should be treated properly."

Mr Andrews said that meant not "running a commentary over the top of it".

Ms Garrett on Tuesday revealed she would be formally complaining about alleged "distressing conduct" by Mr Marshall.

She claims an adviser to the premier intervened between her and the UFU secretary last year because of his behaviour.

Mr Marshall has repeatedly denied accusations of bullying Ms Garrett - including reports he threatened to put an axe in her head.

Ms Garrett resigned from her ministerial position in June after refusing to back a controversial CFA enterprise agreement which she believes hands too much power to the union.

Mr Andrews subsequently pushed the deal through cabinet and installed a new CFA board to approve it.

However, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria is challenging the deal in the Supreme Court, which means CFA employees can't yet vote on the agreement.

Ms Garrett on Tuesday was subpoenaed to appear at the hearing scheduled to begin in late September.

It's possible the premier may also have to give evidence in court.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria chief executive Andrew Ford on Wednesday was quizzed about whether Mr Andrews would be subpoenaed.

"We are in the Supreme Court at the end of the month (September) and I'm not able to talk about who we have, or will, subpoena," Mr Ford told 3AW.

"But suffice to say we'll have some pretty important witnesses and subpoena others."

Asked again if VFBV was considering subpoenaing the premier, Mr Ford replied: "We are considering subpoenaing anyone who can shed light on the issue."

Ms Garrett on Wednesday insisted she wasn't about to quit politics due to the ongoing saga.

"It's been a bit rocky lately but I love my job, I love representing the community, and I've got no plans to go anywhere," she told reporters.

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