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Volunteer firies ire over Merlino 'smear'

AAP logoAAP 13/08/2016 Helen Velissaris

The body representing volunteer firefighters has hit out at claims it is using taxpayer funds to launch legal action to stop the controversial CFA pay deal.

The CFA board on Friday endorsed an amended enterprise bargaining agreement which will now head to employees and union members to be voted on.

On Wednesday, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria lodged an intention to extend an existing injunction on the vote.

That injunction means there can't be a vote until the VFBV has been consulted over the deal - which it says has not occurred.

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said legal action was unnecessary.

"It's disappointing that an organisation that receives taxpayer funds for the welfare of volunteer firefighters are using those resources to pursue unnecessary legal action," Mr Merlino said on Saturday.

VFBV says Mr Merlino needs to apologise for misleading the public and smearing volunteers.

"We are not using a cent of brigade affiliations," the VFBV said in a statement on Saturday.

"We are not using a cent of public funds (from CFA's grant or any other government grant moneys)

"We are only using corporate and other specifically designated donations from individuals and organisations"

It took eight weeks for the CFA board to endorse the deal, after the previous board was sacked by the government for refusing to send the proposal to a vote.

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