Since the Fire Services Statement was launched on 19 May 2017, CFA leadership, as well as Government representatives have made approximately 70 visits across the State to discuss and explain the reforms.
These are important and complex reforms, and naturally there have been a lot of questions, and such forums have been a valuable opportunity to address these.
Over the course of this engagement, a series of questions have emerged as the most frequently asked. This document is intended to help clarify some of the most commonly asked about areas.
Updated 29 August 2017
The Select Committee examining the State Government’s fire services reforms has tabled its report into the proposed legislation.
You can view both the majority report and minority report here.
As part of this process, the Select Committee held public hearings across Victoria, including in Swan Hill, Wangaratta and Traralgon.
The Committee heard from volunteer and career firefighters, third party representatives, CFA senior command including Chief Officer Steve Warrington and the broader community.
The Committee also received close to two thousand written submissions, including hundreds of submissions from people involved in CFA.
Thank you to everyone who engaged with the Select Committee process in a respectful and constructive manner.
CFA welcomed the opportunity to take part in the Select Committee’s inquiry as this has been an important mechanism to inform the Parliament on the need for reform.
The next step in this process will be to await the Government’s response to the reports.
This process provided an important opportunity for government to engage with CFA staff, volunteers and the broader community about reform of Victoria’s fire services.
Since the release of the Fire Services Statement, Ministers and senior fire and emergency leadership made approximately 70 visits across the State, speaking with over 2,600 firefighters, volunteers and staff.
In addition, discussion on the proposed reforms took place at routine meetings and a number of reform specific briefings held across CFA. It is estimated that approximately 50 per cent of CFA brigades were represented at such meetings. It has enabled a large number of volunteers to discuss the proposed reforms either directly with CFA staff or indirectly through brigade leadership who had been briefed by CFA staff.
About the Fire Services Reform
A key component of the reform will be the establishment of new organisation called Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) to service metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres.
FRV will bring together MFB and CFA career firefighters from our 35 integrated stations to service areas currently being covered by integrated stations.
This means CFA career firefighters and some support staff will transition to FRV. CFA will provide comprehensive support to this group of staff. There will be no job losses or redundancies for career firefighters and staff.
The government has also announced a $100 million package comprised of:
- Establishing a $56.2 million CFA Support Fund to strengthen volunteer recruitment, retention and training options, expand brigade support and develop leadership and
- Creating an Emergency Services Infrastructure Authority, which will co-ordinate and deliver new facilities including a $44 million CFA station program.
These reforms will deliver better training, brigade support and equipment for volunteers across Victoria.
Importantly, the government will also introduce new laws to give all firefighters equal access to compensation for cancers contracted in the line of duty. This means all firefighters will have greater certainty in being able to access compensation benefits for specified cancers.
What does this mean for volunteers?
- CFA's 1,220 volunteer brigades will continue to serve and protect their communities just as they always have.
- CFA volunteer brigades will continue to operate under the leadership of CFA's Chief Officer.
- Volunteers will remain integral to Victoria’s response to fires and other emergencies, particularly in campaign and surge events.
- Individual brigades will continue to have assignment areas. In areas where FRV will be designated as the first responders, volunteer surge capacity and back-up responses will be preserved.
- Tailored support will be provided for volunteers at the 35 integrated stations where career firefighters will transfer to FRV.
- We will work with volunteers in the 35 integrated stations to identify the best solution for each volunteer and each brigade.
It's important to reiterate that this package will protect surge capacity, and it is designed to deliver better service throughout Victoria.
Got a question?
If you have any questions you can contact our dedicated information line for CFA staff and volunteers by calling 1300 339 558.
Alternatively, questions or comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com.
CFA has a range of support services and resources available including:
- Peer Support Program - trained members offering support & guidance - contact your local Peer Coordinator (requires login, CFA Members only)
- Member Assistance Program - a 24-hour confidential and external counselling service - 1300 795 711
- Chaplaincy - 1800 337 068
- Manager Assist - confidential coaching, support and advice for managers - 1300 795 711
These services are confidential, free of charge and available to all CFA members and their immediate families.