A parliamentary committee investigating the impact of a potential fire services restructure has heard evidence about the demands placed on and retention rates of volunteer members, according to an interim report tabled today.
Other issues on which the eight-member committee received feedback included:
- the need to improve interoperability between fire services, such as equipment, training and processes
- impact of industrial relations disputes on morale in the fire services
- government consultation on the reforms proposed in the bill
Chairman Gordon Rich-Phillips thanked the public for the large number of submissions received – about 1500 in total.
“We also appreciate the time and effort that people took to attend public hearings in Melbourne and several regional centres,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
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“The inquiry has involved a number of contentious issues and the Committee is working through the extensive evidence it has received.”
The committee was convened following premier Daniel Andrews’ proposed reform of the emergency sector.
Fairfax Media reported in May volunteer and paid firefighters would be split into two separate authorities.
A final report will be tabled this month.
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