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August 23, 2016

Yesterday’s interview with the Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Sky News’ David Speers on the Victorian state CFA issue was like watching a slow motion train wreck and it clearly exposed the Government’s political gaming and the Minister’s complete incompetence.

Rarely have we seen a Minister so badly out of their depth on the detail of their portfolio.

Asked on multiple occasions how the EBA would negatively affect volunteer firefighters, the Minister entered into what could have been mistaken for a comedy script, riddled with errors.

The Minister was clearly briefed to say the EBA would “undermine” volunteer firefighters, and she managed to get that part out, but that’s where the detail stopped.

David Speers asked more than 10 times about the details – how the agreement would “undermine” volunteers. He even had to point the Minister to the details of the legislation that she obviously was not across despite it being used by the Minister as a prop. He was met with a more than inadequate response.

Perhaps most embarrassing for the Minister was when she introduced us to a case study who she suggested would be adversely affected by the proposed EBA.

When Speers asked her what would happen to the individual if the agreement went through, the Minister was left red-faced and floundering in search of an answer. The best she could muster was that she hoped there were no resignations.

Finally, when pressed on what the impact would be, she conceded, “Well, you’d need to ask that person.

It was excruciating watching the Minister trying to avoid these questions, and she was unable to clear up her previous assertions in an error-riddled opinion piece.

This Liberal Government isn’t interested in helping volunteers, or ending the CFA dispute, they are simply interested in the political opportunity the dispute has presented them.

On all accounts this Government seems to be deliberately dishonest and woefully incompetent.

Mr Turnbull should stop playing politics with the CFA. At the very least he should wait until the Supreme Court of Victoria rules on the case before it.

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