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Government must fund our CFA, says Maxwell

By James Bennett

Don't get them to fundraise for their own equipment — just fully fund them.

That's the message Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell is sending the Victorian Government, which requires CFA volunteer brigades to raise money for part of the cost of their equipment.

According to Ms Maxwell, volunteer brigades must contribute $1 for every $2 of state government funding.

The Derryn Hinch Justice Party member said this was "unfair and a disadvantage to regional communities".

She said the disparity between metro and regional areas must be scrapped.

“Regional volunteer brigades provide an invaluable service to Victoria, demonstrated overwhelmingly in the last three weeks in their mobilisation to combat the firestorm battled across multiple areas,” Ms Maxwell said.

“Forcing volunteer brigades to fundraise for their own firetrucks and equipment compromises the safety of our regions and it places an enormous burden on volunteers and on communities, who often struggle already.

“The general public would not expect police to provide their own tasers or divvy vans or for paramedics to pay for their own ambulances.”

A CFA spokesperson said in a statement: "CFA provides the essential equipment, vehicles, buildings, personal protective clothing, training and support for our brigades to provide essential emergency services to meet the needs of their communities.

“The resources of individual brigades differ depending on the size, profile and requirements of their communities.

“In instances where brigades wish to expand their capabilities and resources beyond what CFA supplies, they can fundraise and/or apply for government grants such as the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program.”