Thursday, 04 October 2018 12:12

Appeal Court hands down decision on the Independent Equity and Diversity Review into CFA and MFB

The Victorian Court of Appeal has today handed down judgment on the appeal brought by the United Firefighters Union of Australia Victoria Branch (UFUV) against the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (the Commission).

The appeal was part of the UFU's long-running challenge to the Commission’s Independent Equity and Diversity Review into Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB). 

Commissioner Hilton said: "We are surprised and extremely disappointed by the decision. We conducted the Review at the request of government and were actively supported by the leadership of the MFB and CFA in doing so. Thousands of people participated in the process and it is a real blow that these stories will not be heard."

The order prevents the Commission from making any comments about the report or publishing the report. The decision does confirm that the methodology used to conduct the Review was entirely reasonable.

"While I cannot comment on the report, in my current role as Chair of the Male Champions of Change for Fire and Emergency Services I know that sexism, discrimination and inequity are real problems and continue to cause harm in fire services across the country. Victoria is no exception.

"Since the announcement of today’s decision we have been inundated by messages of support from people who are more determined than ever to press for reform.

"It is my sincere hope that despite the decision today, our attention and commitment to workplace safety and equality and our close collaboration with both the CFA and MFB creates urgent and enduring change. Our fire agencies deserve this."

The Commission will now consider the implications of the decision.

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Peter Davies
0447 526 642

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