You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Vic volunteer firies will walk: inquiry

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016

Victorian volunteers say the ability to protect the public from bushfires this summer could be significantly reduced if a controversial pay deal giving the firefighters' union unprecedented powers goes ahead.

Volunteer firefighters have threatened to quit if the United Firefighters Union gets powers to veto CFA decisions under a new enterprise agreement, according to Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria chief executive Andrew Ford.

He believes the proposal undermines the role of the CFA and gives the union control of operations and resourcing decisions.

"If their (volunteer firefighters') role is eroded, then they will walk," Mr Ford told Tuesday's state parliamentary inquiry into fire preparedness.

He said there had been a "dramatic dip" in volunteer satisfaction since the long-running pay dispute began and it could destroy the CFA.

The dispute has claimed the scalps of former emergency services minister Jane Garrett, CFA chief executive Lucinda Nolan, the CFA board and CFA chief officer Joe Buffone.

They all believed the deal - which Premier Daniel Andrews pushed through cabinet - gave too much power to the union at the expense of the CFA's 60,000 volunteers.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Tuesday said the changes were hurting the CFA.

"Our volunteers should be supported by the government - not attacked, not undermined," Mr Guy told reporters.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised to block the CFA deal using the Fair Work Act if he won the federal election.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon