Sadly there is much misinformation being spread in regard to the future of our CFA volunteer brigades.

Letters such as that from long retired former Liberal MP Paul Jenkins (Sat April 30) are at the height of the opposition’s misinformed scaremongering.

The Andrews Labor Government is very supportive of volunteer CFA brigades.

We recognise how important they have been and will continue to be in helping to keep our community safe and this is demonstrated again in our recently announced budget.

Emergency services receive a $228 million boost, including funding to purchase and develop a hot fire training ground near Ballan as well as a new training centre in the Central Highlands area to ensure high quality training facilities are available to the state’s firefighters and we will continue to expand the Emergency Medical Response Program to 35 CFA brigades.

Since coming to office, the Andrews Government has delivered $1.5 million to build a brand new Buninyong CFA station and increased funding for the Victorian Emergency Services Equipment Program – including funding for a new shed for Meredith CFA and a major upgrade for Elaine CFA.

We have also delivered funding to build state-of-the-art fire trucks in Ballarat for the CFA. This gives our brigades the extra firefighting resources they need to protect our community and to stay safe, while supporting local jobs in manufacturing.

I have been delighted to see the great work of so many of the volunteer brigades across my electorate over many years. I continue to be impressed by the commitment and dedication offered and I know that all members of our government share this view.

Labor will continue to support the CFA and its volunteers and are working to ensure the CFA has a great future.

Geoff Howard MP

State Member for Buninyong

(Published in The Courier 09/05/16)