A full report into the proposed changes to the CFA has been delayed, with the Fire Services Committee instead handing down an interim report into the findings.
Tabled in the Legislative Council last week, the interim report from the bipartisan eight-person Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation inquiry outlined a number of concerns with the planned changes to turn the CFA into a volunteer-only organisation.
Committee member and Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said the hearings saw a number of issues raised.
‘‘We heard from (volunteers) of their desire to see strong and workable fire services in Victoria going forward. What I did not see or hear in any of the hearings was anyone saying that this was the ideal model to go forward.
‘‘There were problems raised by everyone who presented at the hearings, and I think we have a way to go.’’
Fellow committee member and Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan said two distinct viewpoints emerged throughout the inquiry.
‘‘The passion was very clear,’’ he told parliament.
‘‘There is no doubt the people involved in keeping the community safe are very passionate people, whether they be from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade or the CFA.’’
The committee explored a number of aspects of the proposed bill including the case for a fire service restructure, the linkage of the reform to a presumptive rights bill that would allow fire services to receive compensation for cancer, the changing demands on volunteers and whether the proposed reforms will impact on surge capacity.
The committee expects to hand down a full report into the matter by mid-August.
The bill, which has already passed the Legislative Assembly, will be debated and voted on in the Legislative Council following the report’s completion.