Labor Must Listen to CFS on Merger Concerns

The South Australian Greens today call on the Weatherill Government to “really listen” and respond to the CFSVA’s concerns about the planned emergency sector reforms.

The South Australian Greens today call on the Weatherill Government to “really listen” and respond to the CFSVA’s concerns about the planned emergency sector reforms.

Speaking at a CFS rally held on the steps of Parliament House today, Greens Emergency Services spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC said the Government had once again let down CFS volunteers.

“Premier Weatherill promised South Australians that the days of ‘declare and defend’ under Rann had passed,” she said. “Well, this Weatherill Government’s treatment of CFS volunteers shows that they’d rather be seen standing next to them for a photo opportunity than hearing what they have to say.

“The CFS Volunteers Association is warning us that the plan to merge the MFS, SES and CFS under a single commissioner is ill-conceived.

“We need to listen to the experts; experts who have proven time and again that they have the best interests of this state at heart when they’ve put their lives on the line to protect people and property.

“Once again the Government has failed to do its due diligence.

“Ensuring that the CFS has a sustainable future in South Australia should be everyone’s priority – and it needs to be a top priority for the Weatherill Labor Government.

“The decision to terminate the employment of the Chief Officers of the CFS, MFS and SES prior to developing a business plan is described by the CFSVA as ‘a highly dangerous move’.

“In this portfolio the Government can’t afford to make mistakes first and fix them later. The stakes are simply too high.

“We urge the Government to halt its ill-conceived reforms and go back to the meeting table, starting with really listening and answering the many questions that have been raised,” Ms Franks concluded.

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