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VFBV Stands in Solidarity with Trafalgar and Westbury Fire Brigades

As previously advised on the 4th June, the Government introduced an Amendment Bill into Parliament to amend their FRV boundaries. These amendments are being made through the “Police and Emergency Legislation Amendment Bill 2020” and are covered in Part 6 of that bill. (Page 15).

Both Trafalgar and Westbury Fire Brigades have requested VFBV assistance in opposing proposed changes contained in this amendment that will have significant impacts on their Brigades.

VFBV stands in full support and solidarity with both these brigades, and attached is a copy of our correspondence to Members of Parliament requesting Parliamentarians oppose the amendments proposed to the FRV Latrobe West boundary in so far as it impacts on Trafalgar and Westbury Fire Brigades.

Despite government promises and assurances that its Fire Services reforms would not impact on any other brigades, both Trafalgar and Westbury have been shocked to discover that instead of simply respecting the existing primary area of the Moe brigade when staff were appointed, this last minute amendment proposes to significantly expand the primary FRV area as shown below.  

The red area shows the original primary area, with the green showing the expansion being sought by the amendment. Most shocking, is that Trafalgar and Westbury are recording 100% SDS and service to their respective communities. Despite perfect records, the government has rejected all compromises put forward by the brigades, the local DPC, CFA Management and VFBV. This proposed boundary cross two District boundaries making a mockery of the boundary alignment process to align LGA boundaries. The message this sends is – no matter how well a volunteer brigade is doing, this government will preference a FRV response over its volunteers.

More disappointing is the broken promise and assurances that all future boundary changes would be subject to independent, robust risk analysis and consultation, through a “independent” Fire District review Panel process.

I want to re-iterate that this is not a volunteer vs career staff issue. There are terrific relationships between the career staff operating out of Latrobe West and the surrounding volunteer brigades. In fact, the Brigade’s point is these relationships and mutual respect has been built on the current primary areas and the response model that all the local brigades have agreed, but which the governments amendments are seeking to change. Neither Trafalgar or Westbury have any desire to stop or prevent the Latrobe West career staff from responding in support to their primary areas (as they do now) but are deeply concerned about the knock-on effect of FRV consuming large parts of their volunteer primary areas – despite these brigades achieving 100% SDS. In many cases – the locations consumed by the expansion are much closer to the volunteer brigade locations, and the volunteer brigade response will arrive much quicker than the response from the FRV location. There is no community benefit to these changes – and all it achieves is demoralizing the local volunteer brigades, and making them visitors and support brigades in their own communities.  

VFBV is encouraging members to support the Trafalgar and Westbury brigades, and are asking you to please request your local MP NOT to support Part 6 of the “Police and Emergency Legislation Amendment Bill 2020”.

If they can do it to them – they can do it to you.

To find the contact details of your MP’s please visit: https://vfbv.com.au/index.php/component/k2/item/800-how-to-contact-your-local-mp 

Please also consider sending a message of support to Trafalgar and Westbury letting them know they don’t stand alone. Brigade/Group letters of support on brigade/group letterhead addressed to both Trafalgar and Westbury would provide a significant morale boost. You can send your messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll be happy to forward them on.

Read 6315 times Last modified on Friday, 30 October 2020 11:46
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.