The government remains confident it will get fire legislation through despite Port Fairy-based MP James Purcell saying he won’t support it in the upper house.
Mr Purcell revealed exclusively to The Standard on Friday he would not support the state government’s bill to split the CFA, effectively blocking it.
The Vote 1 Jobs MP’s vote in the upper house was crucial for the bill, which has passed the lower house, to become law.
But Emergency Services minister James Merlino said the government was focused on resolving the issue which had “gone on for far too long".
"Our priority is the safety of all Victorians and ensuring that our fire services can meet the needs of our fast growing state,” Mr Merlino said.
"This legislation is important and we are confident it will pass through the parliament."
Mr Purcell revealed his decision after a series of meetings with volunteer firefighters across the south-west in the past two weeks.
“We won’t be supporting the legislation on the basis that all of the community groups that we’ve met with have said that the lack of consultation really was a concern for them,” Mr Purcell said.
The bill is due to be considered in the upper house this week.
The proposal would see paid and volunteer firefighters split, creating a new Fire Rescue Victoria. It also included presumptive cancer compensation rights for both career and volunteer firefighters.