Did the Liberal CFA Lies lose the Labor Party Government?

In an extraordinary rant on Election Night, Malcolm Turnbull had a few harsh words to say about “Mediscare”

Sky News reported him as saying

“Mr Turnbull says the coalition has face ‘most systematic, well-funded lies ever peddled in Australia’ with Labor and the union movement spending millions of dollars frightening vulnerable Australians.

Thousands of Australians received text messages on election day purporting to be from Medicare, warning of Mr Turnbull’s plans to privatise the system.

‘Time is running out to Save Medicare,’ it said.

Mr Turnbull said police would ‘no doubt’ investigate the incident.

He accused Labor of boasting about how skillfully it had lied on Medicare, describing it as a ‘shameful episode in Australian political history’.

‘This is the scale of the challenge we faced,’ he said.

‘And regrettably more than a few people were misled.’

Attorney-General George Brandis said the Liberal Party had referred the matter to police”

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But given the amount of Evidence that exists as to the gutting of Medicare, Australians have a lot of reason to be anxious of Liberal Policy changes which will see their Prescriptions, Doctor’s visits and Pharmaceutical tests rise dramatically.

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But I would like to report in detail today why I think the Liberal Party are much more devious and misleading in their scare campaigns than the Labor party.
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In fact they make the Labor party look like rank amateurs.
Lets examine the CFA and It’s dispute with the United Firefighters Union.
First we will start with some Historical Fact.
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1/ The CFA is a State government Entity, run by a Board which reports to the minister for Emergency Services
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In it’s Annual 2015 report The firefighting capability of the CFA is spit into two parts. There were 35,367 operational Firefighting Volunteers with 21,944 Volunteer support personnel. With a Professional (paid) firefighting compliment of 972 operational and 935 Professional (paid)  support staff.
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2/ The only people who are covered by the Union Agreement are paid professional firefighters.
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3/ The negotiations are conducted between the Union and representatives of the CFA board.
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4/ The previous Enterprise Bargaining agreement expired on 30th September 2013.
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5/ The Andrews labor government came into being on 4th December 2014 So the UFU Enterprise bargaining agreement with the CFA had been expired for 14 months and under a Liberal Government. It is notable that negotiations had probably been in train for 9 Months before the agreement expired. (The normal procedure).
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6/ The EBA (version 17.4) document which is on the CFA website is 396 pages long.
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7/ The CFA has 14 Areas of concern with this document.
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8/ The Equal opportunity and Human Rights Commission, at the behest of the CFA have written a Report on the EBA.
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9/ The Fair Work commission has had the matters of dispute before it since November 2015 and a very interesting report of the proceeding leading up to the commissioner’s final 6th June Document is also on the CFA Website.
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This is an interesting read, particularly where the commissioner says
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“In the more recent conciliation sessions it appears to me that the CFA have sought to
ignore the long and sensitive bargaining process that has been before me since November 2015.
In the context of good faith bargaining and the general clause by clause approach that has been adopted before me, I find it difficult to now disturb the agreements that have been made during the course of bargaining. It is also important to note that the reason or basis upon which it was put to me that the CFA are at liberty to re-agitate matters previously agreed was not clear.”
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With these facts at hand it is interesting to now look at the Media Coverage of the issues.
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A)The first incident of note is the Announcement on 21st March of Parliament being recalled on 18th April for the Senate to consider the ABCC Bill. If the Bill Didn’t pass the budget would be brought forward a week and a Double Dissolution Election called.
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B) we then move to a Herald Sun (Murdoch Press) report of April 20th Which said:-
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“Opposition spokesman Michael O’Brien said Mr Andrews was in dangerous territory.

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“It’s extraordinary that Daniel Andrews and his cabinet are so divided that the Premier is undermining the Emergency Services Minister by having secret meetings with the union bosses behind the back of the responsible minister.”

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Also

“A senior fire services source said the proposed terms of surrender would lead to the union getting the vast majority of its claim, published by the Herald Sun last year.

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One senior source said the plan would also “marginalise volunteers”.

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Several sources have confirmed that the CFA board and chief executive Lucinda Nolan are refusing to sign up to the terms backed by the Premier’s office.”

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Also

“Meanwhile, CFA volunteer boss Andrew Ford spoke out against the deal this morning.

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“We can hardly believe the stupidity of what’s being talked about. It is one thing for a union to negotiate for its members, it’s one thing to negotiate pay conditions, we have no quarrel with that.

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“But to seek to control decision making, to seek to be able to override the chief decisions about what and how to use resources, to seek to marginalise volunteers. That sort of thing is immoral and an abuse of power,” he told the ABC.”

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C) On 18th April the Senate was recalled and the ABCC bill debated and voted down, giving the Liberal Government a Double Dissolution Trigger.

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D) On 28th April  The Liberal Party of Australia Victorian Division Registered the Domain name handsoffthecfa dot com dot au. 
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Whoiscfa.
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It contains a petition which says “Sign the petition to put Victorian volunteers first” The petition is Authorised by S.Frost. 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654 2255 | vic.liberal.org.au | libs@vic.liberal.org.au
The Liberal Party HQ in Victoria.
The ABN number given is the number for the Liberal Party of Victoria
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Liberal Vic abn
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The Person who is the contact name for the website is Simon Terpstra.
Terpstra 1
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E) On May 3rd the 2016-17 Budget is brought down.
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F) On May 8th Malcolm Turnbull announces a Double Dissolution Election is to to be held on 2nd July. Electioneering begins.
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G) On 1st June The Fair Work commissioner publishes his recommendations as to how to settle the dispute between the CFA and the UFU.
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H) On 4th June The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull addresses a rally of Volunteer firefighters in Melbourne on the steps of parliament house and vows to change Federal Legislation. He said.
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“But if we’re re-elected, we’ll rectify it …. There would be changes to the Fair Work Act that would relate to what would be objectionable or unacceptable clauses in EBAs.”
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You, the reader,  will note that a State dispute between a Semi government body and it’s employees has escalated to a long held Liberal theme of bullying Tactics by the union. Researching for this this piece I have read the word thug many many times in the comments of newspaper articles about this dispute. The dispute was also a theme in Questions asked by the Media Gallery of Bill Shorten when he did a press conference.
It was the scene of demonstrations against the labor party.
Wearing CFA Uniforms and with Banners saying Hands Off the CFA.
With Jackets and Tee shirts printed with Hands Off the CFA and put Labor Last.
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There was huge ABC coverage the impact the dispute would have on the Labor vote on Election day.
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SO LET’S EXPOSE THE LIE(S).
1/ The bloke who registered the website for the liberals, works for the liberals and he was also connected with the Seat of Corangamite. We know this because Sarah Henderson the Liberal MP for that seat thanked a Simon Terpstra in Parliament in her First Speech on 13 November 2013.
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Looks like she is going to retain her seat.
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2/ Sarah Henderson Herself put out an entirely misleading web page on how she was

“Standing shoulder to shoulder with CFA volunteers”

I am amazed at these people and their ability to understand an issue.

Lets wrap this up Quickly.

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The concept of a volunteer.

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The Actual Words in the EBA agreement at clause 7A.1 and 7A.2 say the following.

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Role of Volunteers

 

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The EBA has nothing to do with Volunteers apart from these two clauses which appear to me to be pretty clear. The intent of the EBA is to cover PAID Employees.

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The other thing that people may not also realise is that the Equal Opportunity and Human rights Commission Have nothing to do with Volunteers either.

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The Definition of Employee in that act (page 14) is:-

employee includes—
(a) a person employed under a contract of
service, whether or not under a federal
agreement or award;
(b) a person employed under the Public
Administration Act 2004 or appointed
to a statutory office;
(c) a person engaged under a contract for
services;
(d) a person who is engaged to perform any
work the remuneration for which is
based wholly or partly on
commission—
and in Part 6 includes, but does not otherwise
in this Act include, an unpaid worker or
volunteer;

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Part 6 of the Act Is Prohibition of Sexual Harassment. SO Volunteers are only covered under this Section.

So let’s ask the Question again.

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Did the Liberal CFA Lies lose the Labor Party Government?

It’s really up to you to decide that answer.

As I read through the documents some other Questions occurred to me.

1/ Who printed the hands off the CFA posters and Wearing Apparel which had hands off the CFA – put labor last on it.

2/ Who appointed the CFA board whom Daniel Andrews sacked?

3/ If the handsoffthecfa web site was established on 18th April, was it established to help Sarah Henderson in her Marginal seat of Corangamite?

4/ Was this part of a liberal party Scare campaign about Unions? Their favourite refrain?

5/ Given that The Minister for Workplace relations, Michaelia Cash, The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Member for Coarangamite all have legal training, did they read the EBA documents and especially clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 which specifically excluded Volunteers?

6/ Given that the Equal opportunity Act Victoria specifically excludes Volunteers from it’s provisions (apart from Sexual harassment in Section 6) and the EBA makes ZERO changes to existing Volunteer duties under the Proposed EBA (7A.1 and 7A.2), why did they include in their arguments and objections to various clauses argument about Volunteers?

7/ How can Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash make any changes to the Federal Fair Work Act when it only covers EBA’s (in this instance) and that EBA specifically leaves out any changes to the existing operational circumstances of the Volunteer portion of the CFA?

8/ And last but not least, was this a plot by the liberal party to attack the Unions again by the use of lies and subterfuge? And to save Federal Liberal seats by the cynical manipulation of CFA Volunteers?

How  much of a ‘shameful episode in Australian political history’ is the Liberal Party LIEs about the CFA dispute?

Ping to his comments about Labor.

‘This is the scale of the challenge we faced,’ he said.

‘And regrettably more than a few people were misled.’

Hubris? Yep by the bucketful.

2nd Godwin moment? Yep I think so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Did the Liberal CFA Lies lose the Labor Party Government?

  1. This country really does need a Federal ICAC. The Libs are the masters of trying to get away with the sort of things they are always accusing everyone else of doing.
    Malcolm Turnbull isn’t as smart at he thinks he is, trying to pull the wool over the good folk of this country and now its coming back to bite him on the backside.
    Hubris indeed Vince.

    • Thanks Sandra, I think he got what’s coming to him and I wanted to be part of making sure that people knew what dirty tricks the liberals get up to. In case there is another poll.

  2. Vince if I could be so bold to say you have nailed it again ! I accept your facts as on the basis of your impeccable past reporting eg. “Ashbygate” on the Independent Australia site which has all come to pass as I am sure Brough and Roy and some other “nervous nellies” in the Coalition will attest. I would not be so presumptuous to nominate the others here some of whom are still senior Coalition figures even after the 2/7/16 as it would not do your research justice to attempt a brief summary here. This is again evidence of the coalition modus operandi of implanting a supporter in your opponent’s base as means to attack from within like Kathy Jackson, Ashby with Slipper, Lawler appointed by Abbott to the Industrial Courts, Abbott’s whiteanting of Pauline Hanson[God bless another fellow QLDer.] through his Australians for Democracy Foundation which in itself requires another book [and criminal prosecution].
    Police activity involved requires another enquiry into the Craig Thomson “false warrant” and the AFP inaction on the Slipper diary as opposed to its instantaneous investigation into the NBN leaks.
    Surely if we had a Royal Commission into the Unions by a dodgy “Abbott-appointed” Commissioner which appeared to produce nothing not already realisable, this network of publlc deception and abuse of our fundamental institutions demands another one – leave Dicey at home !
    I am so angry I hope my concern has got through. Abbott is a common factor also but Malcolm has taken up some of the offerings and skills apparently.

    • Thanks for your comments David,

      Once again you draw to the reader’s attention the way that they can be manipulated by the media via a manipulative and dishonest political party

      I like you believe it is time for a federal ICAC.

  3. Great article Vince. There is even more to it than that.

    * The Fire Services Review report identified years of actions that were “clearly inflammatory and designed to portray firefighters in a poor light” made under the CFA’s and MFB’s “industrial war” against its workforce, prompted by the coalition government’s “deliberately ideological attack on the UFU”. This isn’t something new. (It didn’t get much media attention, perhaps because Garrett suppressed the report for months, releasing only cherry picked items that she could be misconstrue to be inflammatory and portray firefighters in a poor light… ah, the irony!)

    * Throughout that time, article after article by former Liberal staffer James Campbell, now state politics editor for the Herald Sun, sledged career firefighters and the union. (That sedentary lardball even called us fat and lazy! Ha!) Many lies were published, and misleading claims prefaced by statements like “The Herald Sun can reveal” or suffixed by “sources indicate”. One of these articles has been the subject of Supreme Court defamation writs.

    * As the EBA issue heated up, a serious of outrageous lies about its contents were spread in the Herald Sun by James Campbell and by Matthew Guy himself, in his own column. These were repeated on Liberal social media posts and in other right wing media outlets. These include the suggestion that career firefighters replace volunteers statewide (at a cost of $1B), that volunteers would have to wait around watching fires burn unchecked while waiting for seven paid firefighters to arrive, and that staff would take over the incident once they arrived. These lies gained traction and were frequently repeated by angry volunteers in media interviews, even after the Herald Sun and LNP had deemed it could no longer get away with telling them. The lies weren’t repeated on the ABC or The Age very much but the theme of a “union takeover” or “power grab by the militant union” did, and appeared frequently in those outlets (and still does), stated not as a contested claim but as a fact.

    * Central both to the legal and the emotional claims against the EBA is the belief that the CFA “is first and foremost a volunteer-based organisation, in which volunteer officers and members are supported by employees”. The source of this claim is Section 6F of the CFA Act. It is at odds with the fact that approx 85% of CFA incidents are attended by paid firefighters. Although it looks like a motherhood and apple pie statement (along with the rest of the legislation that accompanied it in the CFA Amendment (Volunteer Charter) Act 2011), in the light of what has happened, it seems clear that the coalition government (which wrote the legislation in consultation with VFBV and CFA) intended all along for it to be used for exactly the purpose it is being used right now: to provide a rationale for characterising any improvement in the workplace rights of career firefighters as 1) contrary to the Act and 2) an insult to volunteers and a means to co-opt them to the LNP anti-union cause through the incitement of outrage. In fact, Tim Pallas and Colleen Hartland warned of precisely this when the bill was debated in 2011:

    Pallas: “At the bill briefings we have sought assurances from the government and departmental officials that this bill would not impact on industrial agreements and conditions relating to career firefighters. We continue to seek those assurances from the minister during this debate. It is important therefore that we recognise that to integrate the fire services to make sure that they can constitute an efficient and homogeneous force we have to promote and encourage volunteers but also recognise the rights, responsibilities and fundamental career aspirations of career firefighters.”

    Hartland: “We must endeavour to foster strong working relationships with volunteer and career firefighters as, when out in the field, a strong and trusting team is integral to their performance and personal safety in the face of danger and emergencies. That is a partnership that we should absolutely be fostering. I am concerned that an unintended consequence of this bill is to emphasise the difference between volunteers and staff and divide the CFA, and I think that would be detrimental to the team spirit that is required in an emergency situation. It is for those reasons that I would like to see this legislation referred to the Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues for inquiry.”

    Hartland’s motion to refer the bill to committee failed. Pallas’ concerns appear to have been ignored. In the end the Bill passed unanimously, no doubt all being aware even then of the giant political stick the LNP would be capable of wielding against anyone who could be portrayed as harming the interests of volunteers.

    Fast forward to 2016 and that’s exactly what we see. Jack Rush QC using Section 6F to argue the EBA is contrary to legislation. And former CFA President John Peberdy invoking 6F to outline the emotional basis in pride and ego for rejecting the EBA: “What they’re trying to do is fundamentally change CFA and make us a career fire brigade supported by volunteers and I think that’s an insult to every volunteer in Victoria.” And, of course, the LNP running with that angle to incite a public hate campaign against career firefighters, the UFU, and the Andrews government.

    All based on lies and all planned since 2011, if not earlier.

    Using it to support the Federal election campaign was just opportunism I’d suggest, but the inflammation of division and the destruction of goodwill between volunteers and careers was definitely premeditated as part of the Liberal Party’s long-term anti-union agenda.

    P.S. There is a rumour VFBV CEO Andrew Ford is seeking Liberal preselection.

    P.P.S. Peberdy might be channeling the volunteer association resolution of 1888 against the creation of an association for paid firemen: “Brigades view with indignation the attempt to interfere with the fire brigade service.” Anti-staff turf war crap, still with us today, thanks to the LNP. We may yet end up where the 1880s dispute ended up: volunteers banished to country areas and given 100% control of their own fire service, at their request. (That is why it was called the *Country* Fire Brigades Board and eventually, CFA.)

    • Thanks for your comments Russell they are well received by me. I have known a few Professional fire fighters in my time, because for a short 4 and a half years I was a Police Constable in the UK and my brother in law was in the fire Service.

      Naturally I spend a deal of time alongside these guys doing their job as I did mine. A thoroughly professional bunch of blokes as were the Ambulance professionals too.

      That professionalism was highlighted when they finally, after many years of underpayment and poor conditions of service were forced to strike. The Government called out the “B” specials which were civil defence trucks put away for the nuclear war which never eventuated.

      They were crewed by the army who never had a clue what they were doing at a fire. They had no idea of the basics and it would be harsh to single them out because, as you know fighting fires is a very specialised occupation.

      I wasn’t going to put in the time to research and read about this dispute but I had trouble sleeping last night and so thought to use the time productively.

      As I read more and more of the material, I realised that it had been grossly manipulated by the Liberal party and their Media arm in the form of the Herald Sun.

      The Commissioner’s comments were particularly revealing but the Media treatment of him was that he was an ex Union person so must be biased and useless. (You know the old refrain, a union Thug)

      However if there was one thing I did learn in my police career it was that you can only go on the sound evidence presented and i am now pleased that I did read as much of the information I could to actually write what I thought was a gross abuse of the whole of the CFA staff for political purposes.

      The most damming part of the expose are clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 of the article which make it very clear that the EBA will not affect any of the current operations of volunteer firefighters.

      The people who have manipulated them (The Liberal party and their followers) are the most dishonest bunch of people going around. It shows a pattern of what is known in Police circles as a Modus operandi or a way of committing the same type of offence again and again.

      In the Liberal party they seem to set up the circumstances and then get their followers or their masters in the media to make the whole scenario come true.

      Do you remember the Thomson affair so well written about by Peter Wicks and the Ashbygate affair which I wrote about for Independent Australia? The same MO.

      Of course the most famous example of this sort of stuff and how it worked is back in 1930’s Germany.

      Is that overreach? When you actually examine the evidence in depth the answer is no.

      Thanks again for your contribution, which I shall read again many times I am sure.

      • No, I don’t think it’s overreach to compare some of the methods to those of the Nazis (just not the scale or depths of depravity reached!) They were masters of propaganda, and were democratically elected through the manipulation of public opinion. (Although of course writers like Chomsky have pointed out that propaganda is central to the economic/social order of Western liberal democracies, too.) In fact it’s a closer analogy than Ashbygate, because Ashbygate didn’t involve the demonisation of a large group of people based on identity.

        Of course, we’re being demonised but not exterminated, so I think potentially a better comparison is anti-immigrant politics in Australia. There’s the legislative basis (Section 6F = White Australia Policy), there’s the rabid yellow press inciting mass hatred to the point of causing social unrest, there’s the Liberal Party deliberately inciting that in order to generate votes for itself. Of course, the Liberal Party never owned “F— Off, We’re Full!” but it does own “Hands Off CFA!” It’s no longer legitimate enough for them or the Herald Sun go go further than dog whistling when it comes to race, or to legislate directly for racism, but people who devote their careers to public safety are open slather.

        The other thing to remember is it’s not just the Herald Sun (and 3AW, etc) that’s important here. The Age and the ABC bracket the other end of the spectrum of respectable opinion. When they come out and support the overall thrust of the Liberals’ propaganda (militant union takeover), differing only in how hysterically they parrot it or how many specific lies they publish, then the illusion of debate and diversity of opinion is created while actually making sure that everyone is funnelled into accepting the basic message the Liberals want them to. (Chomsky is relevant here again.)

        There is a connection to the UK fire services here, by the way. One of the CFA position papers refers to Sir Ken Knight’s review of the UK fire services, to justify its opposition to an operational safety procedure that would clearly benefit firefighter and public safety and which is enshrined in OH&S legislation in the USA (7 on the fireground / two-in, two-out). I can’t actually find any reference to that in Knight’s review (or to “weight of attack”, to which the CFA doc refers), but the thrust of the review overall is basically to say, we don’t have fires any more so we can slash the fire services. Very much what CFA and MFB management have been pursuing for the past few years, as have NSWFB – closing fire stations and so forth. It’s a worry to see them using the UK experience as their playbook.

        https://cfaonline.cfa.vic.gov.au/mycfa/Show?pageId=publicDisplayDoc&docId=026285
        http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22564390

  4. Pingback: Did the Liberal CFA Lies lose the Labor Party Government? | vinceogrady – SUSAN'S SPACE

    • “This guy” when pressed also granted that “I do not think that a conclusion that the proposed EA is contrary to s 6F of the CFA Act means that it cannot be signed. It may be that all things considered, the EA is in the best interests of the CFA, the UFU, the VFBV, paid and volunteer firefighters and the community, or just some of those parties.” He also says, of the section of the Act upon which his determination relies, “There is no doubt much in the way in which the CFA operates that is inconsistent with s 6F and it is perhaps the case that s 6F is a section without meaning.”

      • Hi Again Russell. What Woody says is that “This guy” is right. however I believe he is wrong. For the simple reason that the Clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 Specifically say that nothing changes for volunteers. If nothing changes for Volunteers and everyone was happy with that situation , then no Acts of any parliament or clauses in those Acts were infringed.

  5. Thanks for your comment Woody.

    I suggest you read the article again and the other comments. Take your partisan hat off and wheel back the Union/Labor Lies rhetoric and just look at the facts and the evidence. Particularly clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 in the actual EBA.

    Tell me why (or not) logically, how the CFA can argue in their objections to parts of the EBA that it will affect Volunteers when the clauses stated SPECIFICALLY say that none of the agreement will?

    I have included your comment so that the readers can see the absolute fallacy of the Liberal line.

  6. Pretty much all that happened was the liberal party played on the fact that Australian’s love the “underdog”. They portrayed the Vols as “weak and vulnerable ” being “bullied” by the “thugs” of the UFU. It’s pretty easy to get the blind masses to follow that story, the front of the Herald Sun on Saturday depicting him riding on the top of a tanker being driven by a Vol made me sick. The fact is if we know it was a slimy vote grab and he prob won’t even be around to try and defend his lies….

  7. As a CFA volunteer I was totally disgusted by the blatant lies told by Mr Turnbull many LNP politicians and the Murdoch media over this issue.

    To my mind there was an EBA negotiated in good faith, something the Liberal government and CFA board were paid to do but had been unable to achieve.

    The Liberals proved they were no friends of CFA volunteers when they cut $66 million dollars from the CFA budget removing training and desperatly needed new and replacement equipment.

    During the 45 day long Hazelwood mine fire not LNP politician ever visited one of the largest longest and most expensive industrial disasters in Australian history.

    Not the Premier Mr Napthine Not the PM Mr Abbott nor even the Local Nationals member Mr North.

    With friends like that who needs enemies ?

  8. Thanks for your comment CFA Volunteer.

    A few firefighters, both Volunteer and Full time have contacted me about this article and expressed their exasperation that an emergency service has been used by the Liberals as a political wedge.

    In my opinion I think that the Emergency services should be well supported and well paid and resourced. They should not be used as political footballs.

    It is also my opinion that the CFA organisation did not negotiate in good faith with the UFU and through Fair Work Australia either.

    One of their objections was to a clause in the EB which required training with potable water (clean water).

    Who in their wildest dreams would train with other than clean water? Who is going to take the Liability when the Paid fire fighters which the EB covers are sick from ingesting contaminated water?

    Which then leads onto the entirely Separate Question, What are volunteers are expected to train with? Dirty water?

    Then that leads onto Questions about Fiskville?

  9. As a 37 year veteran CFA Volunteer and UFU Associate Member , it’s very interesting to read and absorbe all the comments , I am personally very distressed to see a wedge driven into a ” one CFA ” we’re the CFA had some time back decided to remove all mention to ” Rural and Urban ” references , a very difficult as VFBV has since inception of thr CFA Act after the Royal Commission into 1939 Black Saterday Fires that ravegd the State of Victoria !
    The VFBV that has risen from The Volunteer Fire Brigades Association , the power bases of the Urban and Rural members were defended fearcily and over the years many power brokers and players were entrenched deeply within the CFA .
    Staff members were in the early days were made up of ” an Officers association ” and Firefifgters ( employees ) were left to become part of the MFB Union Membership ! These were very small numbers !
    Since the failure of many State Governments to expand the original 20 mile radius from the Melboune GPO , has been a failure resulting in many surbuan areas becoming ” dormant ” with the volunteers having to leave their outer CFA areas for employment as local small townships were unable to employee the numbers that had moved well beyond the 20 mile perimiture , larger suburbs such as Dandenong , Springvale and all Regional Townships were supplied with Staff to support Volunteers to provide Fire Protection for these areas !
    Ballarat , Bendigo , Geelong , have been providing Fire Protection since the inception of the CFA .
    These Brigades were both Urban and Rural with the Brigades running independly , this over the years became inefficient and most Brigades either worked as one Brigade or just ignored the arrangement !
    In the current mischievous time were lazy journalists keep stating incorrect numbers of Volunteers to wooe people , actually as stated earlier in this discussion 55,000 to 57,000 registered Volunteers are noted in the CFA Annual report 2014 / 2015 !
    The UFU covers most of the Firefighters and some Association Members of the CFA ,as the VFBV has shown a very soft underbelly that is slow to react , unable to bring Volunteers together to make decisions , in fact most decisions are being made by the inner members , as District and Regional up to State level is slow and cumbersome !
    The inclusion of the Prime Minister into a toxic debate was a ill conceived idea and badly advised !
    The politicial decision into a EFA of a State Issue was and is very decisive and the damage within CFA will take years to repair
    The decision of the Cheif Officer and his management team to resign is interesting and requires that the people who are the power brokers have lost the interest of the ” Protection of Life and Property ” in this state .!
    It raises the issue that the time is right to inquire that a Fire Service Commissioner should hold the power over the Fire Protection of the State of Victoria !

  10. Kevin, Thank you for your comments and the History.

    Whilst many many CFA Volunteers do a wonderful job keeping their communities safe, the Liberal party of Australia seek to divide and Lie about the ongoing issues in the EB FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH AIMS. Which of course is to get their hands on the treasury benches. It reminds me of the saying. Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    The issue that I have written about above is pretty simple really. The Liberal party of Australia passed themselves off as an organisation which supported the CFA, they opened a web site on 28th April and the evidence that they did this is there in the article.

    All of a sudden Volunteers turned up with posters saying hands off the CFA in front of parliament house, Victoria. The Prime Minister addressed them and said that he would protect Volunteers.

    The facts of the matter are that Volunteers are specifically excluded from the EB under clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 (See above for the specific terms). AND THIS EB WILL NOT AFFECT THE WAY THAT VOLUNTEERS WORK.

    The newspapers have also conflated the matter by less than truthful reporting. But what is new there.

    The CFA board nominated negotiators have a huge problem because their objections contain reference to Volunteers (Links to the objections above) and that is disingenuous because the EB has nothing to do with Volunteers (Clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2).

    The commissioner said in his 1 June recommendations that the CFA had not acted in the best of faith and he could not understand why (my words).

    So the Liberal party of Australia have manipulated the situation to make people think that the UNION is the big bad wolf and is in cahoots with the Labor party.

    Throw in a Federal Election and the Liberal party normal Bed wetting about Unions and you have a great Political Points scoring opportunity.

    Kevin, I haven’t put the Caps in to shout at you, but to emphasise to the readers of these comments what a dirty trick has been played on the Volunteers of the CFA, to make them think that the Union wants to take over the CFA.

    I tell you what Mediscare has got nothing on this totally concocted piece of chicanery.

  11. I feel like a child in a recently broken down marriage…where neither parent has my best interest at heart. My brothers thinks dad is right, my sisters thinks mum is right, I love them both. They are lying and saying nasty things about each other, I know some of it is true but mostly they are just trying to hurt one another. I hate it when mum and dad fight, I just want to be a family again.

  12. Ksparkles I feel for you.

    All I wanted to point out was the crook Councillor going around telling lies about the whole deal. The busy body who interfered with the marriage breakdown because they think it’s all about them and not the parties to the breakdown.

  13. Hi Vince, It may not surprise you to find the CFA was used by Sophie Mirabella to wedge Cathy McGowan too. Her local brigade members stood side by side and said no to being used by SM.
    I’m light on detail, just caught a few snippets during the campaign. Her husband via Farmer Federation was involved with the Save our CFA group, created by FF.

  14. Hi Annie,

    Thanks for your comments too. And no I am not surprised. Good for the CFA members up there saying they would not be used by SM.

    The FF is new to me but I can.t say i am surprised either.

    In summary I think that you got a damn good representative for your community. I read a nice article about the way she has interns working in her office in Parliament and is very non political about the way she goes about the job.

    I am disgusted that anyone would seek to manipulate people in this cynical fashion and am further disgusted that the ABC will not report on it. All the evidence is there.

    And I don’t care whether it’s Liberal or Labor or Green.

    I was brought up in a country community where everyone looked after each other and did the best for each other. There were no political limitations apart from those imposed from outside the community.

  15. Yes the registering of the Domain name is damming … plus an indication of their belief that people are stupid, whereas they are the stupid incompetent ones.

  16. Great explanation of the CFA dispute Vince. The CFA hierarchy together with the liberals are very good at the ‘whispering’ campaign and divisiveness. I have seen this in the evidence to the inquiry into the Fiskville Training College chemical exposure and contamination tragedy. They didn’t seem to care much about volunteers there.

  17. Thanks Bronwyn.

    I read the inquiry yesterday when a real firefighter invited me to do so. I was astonished that the CFA Board had refused to produce documents under a Lawful Subpoena.

    For those reading the comments here is the link to the Inquiry of which Bronwyn Halfpenny was Chair.

    http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/enrc/Fiskville_training_college/Final_report/ENRRDC_58-03_Text_WEB.pdf

    Special report on production of documents.

    http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/enrc/Fiskville_training_college/INTERIM_REPORT_-_2/ENRRDC_58-02_Report.pdf

    Reading through the CFA dispute on their website I noticed that one of the objections they had was to the use of Potable (clean) water in training. No doubt the UFU (who used to train at Fiskville as well) wanted their firefighters protected from any chemical or biological contaminants. I think that’s a pretty reasonable thing to do.

    In asking for this perfectly logical Training condition the UFU were in effect also protecting the Volunteers also. Yet the CFA objected. Which then highlights the comments above.

    I also find the non production of documents very disturbing as in their own “Independent” inquiry, a private firm had catalogued the whole of their documents and put that information into a relational database. At least the documents which related to Fiskville.

    I have also been reading Matthew Guy’s twitter feed where he is visiting as many country fire authority volunteer brigades as possible spreading untruths. During the federal Election campaign.

  18. Speaking of HUGE lies does anyone remember the Carbon Pricing scare campaign? On a scale unfathomable even in todays politics. Barnabys $100 roast lamb. Whyalla disappearing from the map. Hundreds added to your electricity and gas bills. Food through the roof. It would add thousands to annual family budgets. It went on and on and on. NO mention of the real treasury figures of the compensation package. Hypocrisy much?
    Finally a good article on the farce of this issue. The Vic Libs have denied ALL Fire Fighters the right to Presumptive Legislation for work related Cancers, LIED and cheated and covered up the disgrace of Fiskville whilst even the former Chief Officer Brian Potter was dying of Cancer from that hell hole. They slashed $66m from the fire budgets EVEN after the Black Saturday Royal Commission told them to do the OPPOSITE and employ MORE Fire Fighters. Rather than negotiating in good faith to settle a new EBA with Professional Fireys after the old one had expired they instead wasted over $26 Million of OUR Fire Services Levy money to attack Fireys in the courts to have an old out-of-date EBA terminated!!! The Fire Fighters friend!!! Piss my pants laughing!! Seriously! These people are so stupid and such hypocrites and such users… is this all we deserve???
    “Working people voting for the Liberal Party is like Chickens voting for Colonel Sanders”

  19. Thanks for the brief Vince. Well done. I have the photo of one particular liar at Dunkley prepoll who dressed as a CFA member and later changed into his lib member shirt . When asked what brigade he belonged to returned ” okay you’ve caught me out” None of these “put labor last” spruikers could even express what the issue might be but did admit to being lib party members….a few smart voters asked why were they promoting a “state” topic at a federal election and to drop the act! Not everyone swallowed it! 😜

  20. Thanks for your comment KIM,

    Since we spoke about this I have done further research into the seat that you mentioned. I also found the person you mentioned in the Save the CFA shirt and the the same guy in the Liberal shirt.

    He isn’t a once off either as he appears in a lot more of the candidates Photos in the election period.

    What also was apparent was the strength of the Liberal campaign in Dunkley, Corangamite and La Trobe. Where there are lots of CFA uniforms apparent with lots of (no doubt) Liberal sponsored signs and corflutes. (A corflute is worth anything between $20 and $25).

    Some people have put to me that the CFA dispute didn’t hurt Labor in the Election campaign, but I contend that it did. The swing towards Labor was 3.1% in the State, Yet analysis of individual booths (where a core part of the community is the CFA Brigade) show a swing toward Liberals of up to 5%..

    I have only looked in detail at these seats, but there would be others where the dispute and it’s characterisation by the Liberals against Labor, hurt Labor electorally.

    Yet I will say again that the contention that the Volunteers will be hurt by the EBA is totally wrong.

    For the following two simple reasons.

    1/ Clauses 7A.1 and 7A.2 specifically exclude the Volunteers and their operational status. These clauses are shown above in the article.

    2/ But what about the Equal opportunity Act and the Legal advice? Sure it may well be the case that the provisions of the EBA may in some circumstances contravene the Equal opportunity Act. BUT THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ACT DOES NOT COVER VOLUNTEERS (Only in part 6 which refers to Sexual Discrimination). SO THAT LEGAL ADVICE DOES NOT AFFECT VOLUNTEERS.

    The whole campaign is one great big Dog Whistle by the Liberals.

    AND it worked.

  21. Pingback: Some more Pertinent Facts about the UFU/CFA Dispute in Victoria. | vinceogrady

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