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Robo-calls criticised

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June 03, 2017

The CFA has been flooded with complaints from the general public over a robo-call campaign that began last week, with the authority labelling the calls ‘‘irresponsible’’.

CFA chief executive officer Frances Diver said the calls were not authorised by the CFA and involved an individual identifying as a CFA volunteer and asking members of the public to sign a petition against planned CFA changes.

‘‘These calls warn that reforms recently announced by the State Government will put Victorian families at risk,’’ Ms Diver said.

‘‘CFA is deeply concerned that these calls may erode confidence in public safety and unfairly cause alarm across the community.’’

The Liberal Party has announced it will be campaigning across 11 key electorates including Yan Yean, Macedon and Eltham against the changes that would see the CFA become a volunteer-only organisation.

Opposition emergency services spokesperson Brad Battin defended the campaign against the changes, which includes robo-calls.

‘‘The Liberal Nationals will continue to ramp up its campaign to protect the CFA that helps keep Victorians safe,’’ Mr Battin said.

‘‘Frances Diver is in the pocket of the Andrews Labor Government and her comments may as well be authored by the Premier.

‘‘If automated phone calls are a breach of privacy then that means Labor’s 2014 election campaign was illegal.’’

The CFA said it would urgently investigate the calls as a possible breach of privacy and take any steps necessary to ‘‘protect the integrity’’ of the CFA.

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