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Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

Joint Equipment & Infrastructure Committee - 2 Minute Briefing

Equipment & Infrastructure

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing

Issue 8, March 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV.
Due to Operational Activity, this Joint Committee Meeting was cancelled & did not go ahead.

VFBV CAMPAIGN FOR ADDITIONAL CFA FLEET FUNDING

Many CFA volunteers would be alarmed to learn that recurrent funding for CFA’s front line fleet does not provide for the replacement of fire trucks when they reach their working age limit.
CFA’s firefighting truck fleet has over 500 trucks that are over 20 years old and would already have been scheduled for replacement in any other state. The oldest CFA trucks are now 28 years old. Whilst CFA’s oldest trucks are well maintained, they do not have many of the safety features of modern vehicles, and without recurrent funding – CFA has no way to plan or schedule their eventual replacement.

In Victoria, CFA’s sister agencies have established maximum age targets for their tanker fleets. The MFB target for replacement of its tankers is 10 years, and DEPI have a target of 12 years for their Tankers. In June last year, due to inadequate funding, and Governments rejection of CFA’s 2013/14 fleet funding bid, with no way to reach the established “20 years old” convention that has been in place for the last couple of decades, CFA was forced to drop all age targets from its Fleet management plans, and replace with a “fit for task, fit for purpose” policy. Whilst this may sound sensible enough – with no forward planning or adequate funding, CFA cannot effectively manage its fleet of over 2,000 CFA owned vehicles, so that when they do eventually become not fit for purpose, they can be replaced.

VFBV and this Committee has been raising this issue with Government and other decision makers for some time, and has now launched an escalated public campaign for action to resolve the problem.

VFBV is seeking the support of both sides of Parliament for;

  • Appropriate, ongoing recurrent funding to ensure safe and fit-for-purpose CFA firefighting fleet replacement and growth expansion;
  • Guaranteed multi-year funding on a rolling five year basis, based on a reasonable replacement cycle;
  • A funding mechanism that provides additional funding to CFA to meet service requirements brought about by population growth and changes in the risk environment;
  • Funding to address the necessary ‘catch-up’ from recent under-funded years
  • A plea to stop the practice of assuming it is reasonable to require Volunteers to use frontline operational firefighting trucks that are considered unsafe or inadequate for career firefighters doing the same work and servicing the same communities

VFBV has written a letter to every Victorian State MP with a detailed brief outlining the problem, the implications and our desired result.

You can download the detailed brief by clicking here or call the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141 to request a copy be posted to you. We encourage you to follow up with further discussion at your local level.

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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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