Minister loses confidence of the CFS

Stephan Knoll, Member for Schubert has called for Minister Tony Piccolo, the Minister for Emergency Services, to turn around his destructive policies and rebuild confidence with CFS members.

“They do feel let down by the government,” Mr Knoll said of CFS volunteers.

“Cancer compensation has been an issue in the public arena for a number of years. It was certainly a key issue at the 2014 Election and it was a huge issue for Schubert, and many other regional electorates.

“For volunteer firefighters presumptive cancer compensation was very important. This was an issue of equity and common sense; it was an issue that the Liberal Party fought very strongly in favour of at the 2014 Election and one that the government would not even canvas. In that time the issue has festered and built up angst, and most destructively, broke down a lot of goodwill that existed within our CFS volunteers across the state.

“The government certainly saw sense in the end, but it was dragged out, across years, and then they simply, without thought, roll on now to the emergency services sector reform, leaves a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouths.

“There is a lot of angst in the community about these changes, they haven’t been properly consulted and the community sees it as another front on which the government is going to attack the CFS; first holding back cancer compensation, and now these reforms.
“The government, and Minister Tony Piccolo do not have the confidence of many of my region’s CFS volunteers.

“This government is going about reform in the wrong way. There are many questions and concerns that this is a mechanism for a takeover by the MFS, yet the Minster has been slow in dispelling any rumours of that kind. It is especially going about reform in the wrong way when we look at the fact that the government cannot afford to replace these CFS volunteers. This speaks volumes about the worrying and continuing disconnect between regional South Australia and this State Labor Government.”