on air now

Pressure grows on activists to ditch planned bushfire protest as UFU boss explains why he rejected invite to speak

3aw drive

United Firefighters Union boss Peter Marshall has revealed he’s been asked to speak at Friday’s planned protest in Melbourne’s CBD.

“And I won’t be,” Mr Marshall told 3AW Drive.

“Not because I don’t believe in the right of students and other activists to protest, but there’s a time and place for everything.

“As we’re going into that period when the protest is on – I don’t want to alarm the community – but the fire services and government are preparing for another onslaught

“I just think the timing is wrong.”

Currently, 13,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend the Melbourne protest at the State Library.

The protest, organised by Uni Students for Climate Justice, is calling for the Prime Minister to be sacked, payment for volunteer firefighters, genuine relief and aid for fire-affected communities, and a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville has also expressed her displeasure at the timing of the protest, saying it will take emergency service workers away from potential fire grounds.

Windy and warm conditions have been forecast, with serious concerns the weather could flare up existing blazes, as well as create new ones.

“Friday is not the day,” Ms Neville said.

“I’m really stunned they haven’t (changed the date).”

Click PLAY below to hear more on 3AW Drive

PICTURE: Justin McManus / The Age

3aw drive