IN a highly controversial move, Victoria’s fire services will be restructured to split volunteer and paid firefighters into two separate authorities.
The announcement has been met with widespread vexation across rural Victoria.
Under the proposed structure, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and paid CFA career firefighters will be merged into one body called Fire Rescue Victoria, while the CFA will become a totally volunteer organisation.
Fire Rescue Victoria, which absorbs the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the CFA’s paid staff, will fight fires in Melbourne and major regional centres.
Volunteers with the CFA will be told they can remain with the existing 1220 brigades, and at the 35 integrated stations in growth areas.
Volunteers will receive $100 million for new stations, training and recruitment.