Wednesday, 07 November 2018 17:19

Independent Equity and Diversity Review into CFA and MFB

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will not be seeking special leave to appeal to the High Court. This relates to the recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision regarding the Independent Equity and Diversity Review into the CFA and MFB.

The legal action was brought by the United Firefighters Union of Australia Victoria branch (UFUV) to prevent the publication of the Commission’s report on the review.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said the decision not to appeal was informed by legal advice.

The review was requested by the Victorian Government in 2016.

"The Court's decision was on a technical point. We will seek to work with the Victorian Government to clarify the Commission’s ability to conduct systemic inquiries and investigations of this nature," Commissioner Hilton said.

Commissioner Hilton reiterated that she was disappointed for the men and women who had shared their experiences with the Commission that the report would not be published.

"I urge anyone who is experiencing, or has experienced, sexual harassment, discrimination or victimisation and who wishes to make a complaint to contact our independent and free dispute resolution service. Reporting unlawful conduct can be difficult but it can help the behaviour to stop," Commissioner Hilton said. 

Commissioner Hilton said that it was understood across the fire and emergency services sector that change is needed to make them safer, more inclusive and more capable workplaces.

"Through my role as Chair of the National Male Champions of Change for Fire and Emergency Services, I am aware that sexism, discrimination and inequity continue to cause harm in fire and emergency services across the country. We encourage the MFB and CFA as well as other fire and emergency organisations across the sector to continue to work to address this."

Anyone who has experienced discrimination or sexual harassment in Victoria can contact the Commission on 1300 292 153 or email enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au.

Media contact

Peter Davies
Mobile:
0447 526 642
Email: Peter.Davies@veohrc.vic.gov.au 

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