Fire Rescue Commissioner
Fire Rescue Victoria
456 Albert Street
East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002
Monday 27 September 2021
United Firefighters Union (UFU) Disrespectful and Dishonest Campaign
This week the UFU management have launched a disrespectful and dishonest advertising campaign designed to create fear and send a message that people living in Country Fire Authority (CFA) response zones are unsafe. We all know nothing could be further from the truth.
In Victoria we are proud and lucky to have so many career and volunteer firefighters who are all professional in their commitment to the community and improving our safety.
Volunteer firefighters in the CFA are the lifeblood of many local communities around Victoria. They are teachers, tradesmen, office workers, single parents, and students until they put on their uniform to serve their community.
A strong community is the best asset for prevention and recovery from fire and natural disasters. The men and women of our fire services risk their lives and sacrifice so much to protect our state, and our volunteers give countless hours for no reward, all they ask for is respect. They are expertly trained and spend many hours ensuring they have the tools and skills to protect their communities.
The UFU ‘Ready for Anything’ campaign currently being run https://frvfirefighters.com.au to highlight career staff skills and to ‘promote community safety’ is distasteful, adds nothing to community safety and will continue to drive a wedge between our services. The goal from union management is to:
• Get peoples personal details for campaigns
• To make them believe they will not have a professional response when in danger
• To increase the campaign for more career firefighters
After discussions with Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) firefighters it is obvious this campaign is not endorsed by many in the field. Many firefighters want the union to focus on changes to improve community safety, build strong relationships with the CFA and continue to focus on important safety issues, not run a political campaign against the volunteers we need for surge capacity in this state.
I am calling on you to join me, call out this disgraceful advertising, and demand the United Firefighters Union listen to its own members and stop this campaign. It is another example of dividing the fire services at a time the community need leaders to be uniting and offering hope.
BRAD BATTIN MP
Shadow Minister for Police and Road Safety
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services
Shadow Minister for Community Safety and Victim Support
Shadow Minister for Corrections