Fire sale for fire paper

November 27, 2017

THE funding for the CFA’s FIRE WISE magazine has been scrapped.

The paper, published since 1947, has provided volunteers from 1200 brigades with information on various operational events.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) chief executive Andrew Ford said they were disappointed with CFA’s action to cancel funding for the “vital tool of communication and consultation’’.

“Volunteers deserve to have a voice and FIRE WISE is part of that, cutting funding is another step to gagging volunteers,”he said.

He said the paper was an integral part of the CFA’s ability to communicate with volunteers.

A local CFA volunteer said “once again a clear attack by the Andrews’ Government on CFA volunteers’’.

“We were actually waiting for their next instalment of CFA volunteer bashing and vilification.

“I am sure there will be plenty more before next year’s state election.”

In a statement Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said funding decisions such as FIRE WISE were matters for the CFA.

A CFA spokesman said the organisation “has updated its funding arrangement from an annual cash grant to a paid advertising approach’’.

“It is essential any expenditure of public funds be done with proper governance, accountability and value for money.”

A defiant Mr King said the paper will continue to print relying on its subscription base of $34 a year.

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