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CFA Package Announced by Government

Released shortly after Chief Officer Steven Warrington's AFSM resignation was announced by the CFA Board. The following message was issued by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services to all CFA members.

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This year has been incredibly difficult for many Victorians. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing commitment and the tireless work each and every one of you have shown during the summer bushfires and during the coronavirus (COVID -19) period. 

I know that many of you are concerned about the changes that are about to occur in relation to the establishment of Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).

I understand that there is great uncertainty and trepidation with these changes, however we are implementing the changes as outlined in the legislation that passed the Parliament in 2019.

These changes are necessary and include:

·         The repositioning of the CFA as a community-based volunteer firefighting service

·         The establishment of FRV as a career only service – a service that will work under one badge and uniform

·         The legislation outlines that there will be secondment of firefighters and operational staff back to CFA to support volunteer firefighters. The CFA Chief Officer will be able to make decisions about which staff are appropriate for secondment to the CFA

·         Those in CFA as secondees being under the order and control of the CFA Chief Officer

·         A service agreement agreed between the CFA Chief Officer and the FRV commissioner

·         Volunteers continuing to play a critical role and being called out to fires in their communities – which from 1 July 2020 will be guaranteed in the CFA Act 1958 Section 6B with the CFA required to support the effective and sustainable recruitment, development and retention of volunteer officers and members across the state; and at Section 20AC which requires FRV to recognise and value the role of volunteer brigades located within FRV districts

·         Volunteers in integrated brigades continuing to have a home and space as they do now in the stations

·         All equipment and appliances purchased by volunteers remaining their assets

·         The Victorian Government ensuring that we work with volunteers on what the future of the volunteer-only agency looks like and providing appropriate support for training and equipment.

We have spent more than 12 months implementing all of the above and we are making real progress.

In addition, I wanted to let you know first about a package of $126 million for the CFA to go towards critical training and equipment and include:

·         New training programs that will deliver new capability and experience for volunteer firefighters

·         Trialling respiratory protection for volunteer firefighters

·         New personal protective clothing for each active operational volunteer firefighter

·         Fifty new dual cab appliances with burn over defensive systems

·         Capital funding for 16 new stations for volunteer brigades

·         Brigade support including peer support and counselling

A number of statutory authorities are also being established to ensure that the intent of the reforms is met. These include the Fire Services Implementation Monitor that will provide independent oversight and is not subject to my general direction or control.

The Monitor’s functions include assessing the progress of CFA and FRV in carrying out the Implementation Plan to be tabled in parliament that specifies those actions necessary to give effect to the reforms.

I understand change is difficult, and we will continue to support the CFA with the resources and the volunteers they need to keep Victorians safe.

But I want to encourage you not to take on misinformation being spread about these changes. You can find out more about these matters and reforms more broadly at www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-reform I encourage you to take the time to read it.

I am committed – and the Victorian Government is committed – to ensuring a strong future for the CFA. You are the lifeblood of our communities and essential to fire fighting in our state.

I thank you again for all that you do in keeping Victorians safe.

Yours sincerely,
Lisa Neville

Read 6613 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 July 2020 11:00
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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