Accidental Senator Ricky Muir gave perhaps one of his last addresses as an elected official yesterday, telling the Victorian Rural Press Club that he wants to stay in politics in some way or another after this Saturday’s election. He delivered a rambling speech that showed that three years in Canberra hadn’t scrubbed the Gippsland boy out of him. Muir said he hadn’t written a speech, because it was too obvious when his fellow politicians hadn’t written their own speeches and didn’t know which words were coming next. He weighed in on the CFA dispute, which has torn apart the Labor Party in Victoria and dominated the political debate in the state. Muir said that he had not expected the issue to become such a big part of the election campaign and had mixed feelings about the Prime Minister’s promise to change the Fair Work Act to protect CFA volunteers:

“For someone who has come from a blue-collar background in a rural area I get very nervous when a Liberal government starts talking about amending the Fair Work Act. Volunteers need to be protected, I completely agree with that, and I completely hear their concerns and this is an issue that has to be resolved now.”

He also gave the state Labor government a whack, saying: “I would like to use this opportunity to pout pressure on the state government and say just sort this out now”.

Peter Fray

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