On 11 & 12 May 2018 the Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Brad Battin MP visited the Macedon electorate and, together with Liberal candidate for Macedon Amanda Millar, met with CFA volunteers across the electorate which stretches from Romsey in the east across to Daylesford in the west to hear their views on a range of issues affecting local CFA brigades and volunteers.
A key theme consistently raised by local CFA brigades is the decline in morale of the volunteers given the prolonged and often fractured debate around Labor’s proposed changes to the future of the CFA – whose roots and strength of numbers lie with its 60,000 volunteer members across Victoria. The decline of training opportunites for volunteers was also a significant concern raised.
Shadow Minister Brad Battin also heard from members of the Romsey CFA Group that concerns remain over the handling of the future of the Romsey Group Headquarters – and that, while it is welcome that there has finally been some undertaking by the Labor State Government to speak with members of the Group, this only occurred after both the local media and community members have reacted by raising these concerns.
In response to these concerns, Mr Battin committed during his visit, “A Liberal/Nationals State Government will respect the wishes of the Romsey CFA Group and commit to the current headquarters remaining in use if this is what the Group wants.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Macedon, Amanda Millar:
“CFA volunteers across Macedon have expressed their concerns about Labor’s plans to forever change the nature and independence of the CFA which has been built on a spirit of volunteerism and which has served our communities well for decades.”
“There is much anger out in the community that the Romsey CFA Group Headquarters sale process has commenced without the local brigades and members even being contacted – despite it being raised in the Parliament many months ago by our Liberal Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities & Volunteers Cindy McLeish MP on 7 March 2018.”
“Once again this is an example of the failure of the Daniel Andrew’s Labor Government disrespecting volunteers and failing to listen to our local community’s views.”