Speeches

21
Sep

Fire services legislation

Speeches

MR RICH-PHILLIPS (South Eastern Metropolitan) — The decision of the government to once again delay debate on the Firefighters' Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017 is treating the Parliament and the people of Victoria with contempt. At the government's behest the select committee inquiring into the fire services restructure completed its work in an unprecedented seven-week time frame, requiring extraordinary effort on the part of the committee staff. During the course of the inquiry government witnesses repeatedly stressed the urgency of completing the inquiry and dealing with the legislation.

Now, more than a month after the select committee tabled its report, the government has failed to progress the legislation. For the last two sitting weeks the government has proposed extended Friday sittings. Last week, however, the government adjourned the house mid-afternoon after only three second-reading contributions on the bill. It is now apparent that despite allocating tomorrow for debate, the government is not going to bring the bill on for debate at all.

Having repeatedly claimed that consideration of this bill is a priority and that the fire services require certainty, the government is refusing to deal with the bill because of its concern at the outcome. The fire services and the Victorian community deserve certainty, and the government should put the bill to a vote to provide that certainty.
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