MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh and his Coalition partners have gone for the heavy artillery in the CFA saga.
They are promising a Royal Commission into Victoria’s fire services – if elected in November next year.
Mr Walsh said only an inquiry with the power of a Royal Commission – and its power of subpoena – will restore the confidence of local communities and the region’s CFA volunteers.
He said until the real and perceived cultural issues surrounding the institution are cured there won’t be the gender diversity it needs.
“The number of women in the fire services is going the wrong way, currently down six per cent this year,” Mr Walsh said.
“This decision to hold a Royal Commission is about protecting the people who protect us,” he said.
“The Royal Commission will be one of our first priorities when elected so we can have a final report handed down sometime in 2019.”
Mr Walsh said the policy would take the politics out of the bitter dispute over Victoria’s fire services.
He said many local volunteers have told him they feel there is no longer anyone left to stand up for them and to represent their interests.