Victorian Labor has been left red-faced over its attempt to attack the Coalition Government for unregistered trucks in the Country Fire Authority (CFA) fleet after it was revealed today that the former Labor Government had presided over the start of the problem in 2004.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan said the CFA had confirmed an administrative oversight that had led to a lapse in registration of a number of CFA vehicles in fact started eight years ago - mid-way through the previous Labor Government.
"This is a lazy and embarrassing attempt by Daniel Andrews and Labor to mislead the community and now they have been left with egg on their face," Mr Ryan said.
"Labor has been too lazy to even check basic facts before attempting to blame the Coalition Government for an error that was occurring for around six years under the former Labor Government.
"Labor should be embarrassed by its lazy politicisation of this issue, which is an important matter of safety, not a political football."
Mr Ryan said the CFA had advised that it was investigating the administrative oversight which had caused the issue around the registration of its trucks.
"The CFA has indicated that this matter will be thoroughly investigated and systems put in place to ensure it does not happen again," Mr Ryan said.
"Importantly, the Coalition Government has been reassured by the CFA that it is able to maintain service delivery until all trucks are re-registered and fully operational."
Mr Ryan said the CFA is one of the world's great volunteer organisations and the Coalition Government was investing a record amount to support the vital role of the CFA in Victoria.
"In the 2012-13 State Budget, the Coalition Government allocated almost $57 million to emergency services, including $22.9 million to build or upgrade rural fire stations across the state."