UFU backs independents and minor parties

Victoria's firefighter union is backing independents and minor parties at the upcoming state election, claiming neither Labor nor the Liberals are committed to protecting the safety of its members or the community.

Upper house crossbenchers and independent candidates joined United Firefighters Union Victorian Branch Secretary Peter Marshall on Tuesday as he released an 'election scorecard' which rated where candidates stood on matters the union is fighting for.

Reason Party Leader Fiona Patten, Animal Justice Party representative Andy Meddick and Transport Matters founder Rod Barton gained full marks.

Independents Virginia Tachos and Dr Ian Birchall, who are contesting seats in Melbourne's west, also stood by Mr Marshall.

The top issue on the scorecard is a law which guarantees presumptive rights for firefighters diagnosed with cancer, entitling them to compensation without having to prove it was caused by their job.

The law was first passed in 2018 and has since been widened to also cover about 90 mechanics, which Mr Marshall described as "trashing" the protection.

Other demands include expanding trench rescue equipment to north west Victoria, replacing 30 trucks, creating new training facilities in regional Victoria and finalising an enterprise bargaining agreement.

The union will hand out how-to-vote cards across the state and target marginal seats including Melton, Richmond and Northcote.

"This is an unprecedented campaign by the United firefighters union," Mr Marshall told reporters in Melbourne.

"Firefighter safety equals community safety, the Andrews Government has let us down."

Mr Marshall claimed he had been met with "deathly silence" after approaching the government with his concerns and denied the campaign was about enterprise agreement negotiations.

The Andrews Government has had a troubled history with the union since it was elected in 2014.

When asked if he would speak to Mr Marshall before the election, Premier Daniel Andrews said he didn't know if he had a reason to do so and backed the government's cancer laws.

"The position of his union is a matter for him," he told reporters in East Geelong.