THE Country Fire Authority will become a volunteer-only firefighting organisation under a re-organisation of Victoria's fire services.
The CFA's paid firefighters will join their Metropolitan Fire Brigade counterparts in a new organisation, Fire Rescue Victoria, to fight fires in Melbourne and major regional centres.
In the past decade, eight reviews into Victoria’s fire services, including the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, have recommended the state’s services be modernised.
Under the reforms, the CFA will be further protected under law as a volunteer service and its 1220 brigades will continue to serve their communities, as well as providing vital surge capacity during major emergencies.
CFA volunteers currently serving at one of the state’s 35 integrated stations, including Traralgon and Morwell, will be able to remain at that station, co-locating with Fire Rescue Victoria services.
The new Fire Rescue Victoria will be established to fight fires in major regional cities and Melbourne, bringing together the MFB and career staff from the state’s 35 integrated CFA stations, including the 450 extra career firefighters currently being delivered.
The government hoped the shake-up would end the long-running dispute to finalise an workplace agreement for paid CFA staff.
For more read Tuesday's Gippsland Times.