Australia Victoria's fire services to be overhauled

14:37  19 may  2017
14:37  19 may  2017 Source:   MSN

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Victoria ' s fire service structure is the worst in the country and need to be overhauled , an inquiry has been told. A restructure of Victoria ' s fire services is imperative, says an emergency management chief, who insists current arrangements are the worst in the country.

Taxpayers will fork out more than 0 million to overhaul Victoria ' s fire services in a high-stakes political gamble to end a prolonged industrial dispute.

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VICTORIA'S CFA CARVE UP

* CFA to become a volunteer-only service

* Fire Rescue Victoria will replace the Metropolitan Fire Brigade with paid CFA firefighters forming part of the new organisation

* CFA volunteers and FSV will share 35 integrated stations while 1200 other volunteer brigades remain as they are

* FRV will be led by its own commissioner and be based on a NSW model

* An independent Fire District Review Panel will be established to review boundaries of fire services

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' fire reforms appear doomed after a key Upper House crossbencher declared he would not vote for the Government' s plan to change the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

Taxpayers will fork out more than 0 million to overhaul Victoria ' s fire services in a high-stakes political gamble to end a prolonged industrial dispute.

* $100 million to be invested in CFA as part of reforms

* $56.2 million CFA support fund to strengthen recruitment and training

* Target to increase female firefighters in FRV from 100 to 400

* Reforms include 450 new firefighters that Labor promised at the election

* Uniforms and rebadging estimated to cost $5 million a year over the next few years

* Committee to oversee reforms chaired by Greg Mullins, who oversaw similar reforms in NSW

* Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will work with the government on cultural reform during the restructure

COMMENTS ON THE PLAN

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino: "These changes will enshrine the CFA as a volunteer firefighting service under law and unite our career firefighters under one organisation."

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Victoria ' s fire services will be split into professional and volunteer bodies as part of an overhaul that the union has "significant concerns" about. Victoria is breaking up its fire services to ram through a controversial union pay deal.

" Victorian fire services as they are currently structured are the worst Australia." Mr Lapsley also says he believes Victoria needs just one fire service , but acknowledged that would not be politically possible.

Premier Daniel Andrews: "If you go back and look at each of those reviews ... the reasons why we have made this change, are talked about page after page, report after report, year after year."

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria: "None of the reviews recommended breaking up the CFA."

United Firefighters Union: "The UFU has concerns regarding the government's proposal, and in particular its election commitments to the UFU and its members."

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy: "Where's the impetus to do this come from? Where's the report, the smoking gun that says the CFA isn't working?"

CFA chair Greg Smith: "It's important to reiterate the current role of volunteer brigades remains in place and this package will protect the important surge capacity provided by volunteers"

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Right Commission: "We look forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure that cultural reform of the agencies is prioritised throughout this restructure."

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Three people have escaped an accidental house fire in South Australia. Eight firefighters put out the blaze within five minutes in the front bedroom of a Laverstock Rd home in Elizabeth North about 7pm on Wednesday.South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service spokeswoman Heather Dunstone told AAP three people were inside the home at the time of the fire.But she said they went back inside the property to rescue their belongings.A SA Ambulance spokeswoman said a child and a 19-year-old male were taken to Lyell McEwin Hospital with smoke inhalation, and there were no medical records for about the third person.

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