Fire Infrastructure Grant Scheme

The Fire Infrastructure Grant Scheme (FIGS), previously known as the Fire Access Road Subsidy Scheme (FARSS) is administered and funded by CFA within organisational budget considerations and capped annual funding allocation.

CFA provides grants to municipal councils on a variable basis that match or exceed the municipal contribution for FIGS approved fire infrastructure projects.

Aim

The aim of the scheme is to financially assist and support municipal councils’ implementation of modest scale fire infrastructure projects that provide a direct benefit for community safety and CFA brigade incident response. These projects thereby directly support mitigation of fire risk within the municipal district.

Process

Members of the CFA fire brigade(s), CFA Region/District, and the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO) may identify a project (a fire infrastructure need) in collaboration, for recommendation to the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) or Municipal Fire Management Planning Sub-committee (MFMPSC) of the MEMPC where one is established.

Municipal councils apply for funding through a formal application process following approval by the MEMPC and appropriate authorising manager. To request funding through FIGS, municipal councils must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the proposed project to the Manager Community Safety (MCS) at the CFA Regional Office that is aligned to the municipal district. For an EOI to be considered eligible it must be in accordance with the FIGS Guideline criteria. If the project is approved by CFA at the EOI stage, the municipal council may proceed to the Application project brief stage.

Applications are received from municipal council representative at CFA Region level for assessment and prioritisation (within a Regional context) and then prioritised at a State level. Funding is provided to Municipal councils on completion of works, which are formally inspected and approved by CFA. 

Please refer to the FIGS Guideline for further detail around the following information and the step by step application process.

Note: The FIGS Guideline replaces all previous FARSS guidelines.

Criteria

For applications to be considered eligible they must be in accordance with the following criteria: 

  1. relate to the "country area of Victoria" As defined under the CFA Act; and may include “protected public land or fire protected area" as defined under the Forests Act 1958 when the Application project brief shows that access incorporating public land can be gained to an isolated area of settlement (subject to land managers approvals). E.g. Fire access roads construction. Note: FIGS is not applicable for projects within the Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) fire district.

  2. fire infrastructure projects that do not sit within other policy areas or funding models For example – out of scope; brigade equipment and resources through VESEP, or projects that may be funded through other Victorian Government, agency or organisation grant initiatives and programs.

  3. Project must also meet one or more of the following principles:

    1. Reduce brigade travel time in responding to areas containing settlements, sub-divisions or individual properties.

    2. Provide strategic water supply to assist brigade fire suppression in isolated areas.

    3. Provide a direct benefit for community safety and/or brigade incident response, therefore mitigate fire risk within the municipal district.

  4. fire infrastructure projects that do not require ongoing funding. Ongoing maintenance and associated costs once the project is established will be the responsibility of the municipal council. FIGS may provide funding opportunity for fire infrastructure maintenance (e.g. fire access roads). However, this facility cannot be relied upon generally, due to application prioritisation process and funding pool limitations year on year, and assurance for equity in opportunity across municipal districts.

Project Categories

  1. Fire access roads construction
    Construction of a fire access road to overcome deficiencies in the permanent road network. The road should facilitate a rapid and concentrated brigade response to areas where the application of these two principles will be critical to early containment of a fire; and where road access is limited and off-road operation of two-wheel drive firefighting vehicles would be difficult.

  2. Fire access roads maintenance
    Fire access roads maintenance may include, for example, improving drainage for low lying access tracks to support road stability, usability and prevent erosion.

  3. Static water supply
    The provision of additional water supply (for fire-fighting purposes only) is an important strategic consideration where existing water supply would impose unreasonable increases in the turnaround time of firefighting resources and thus the proportion of time away from the fire line.

  4. Other
    Other fire infrastructure projects aligned to criteria.

Timeline

Below is a summary of the timeline for the end to end process [See Guideline section 5-7].

FY 1 = Action item dates prior to the financial year for which the funds may be approved and allocated.

FY 2 = Action item dates within the financial year for which the funds have been approved and allocated – project implementation.

Process Date Year
Expression of Interest Open* 1 August FY 1
Expression of Interest Closed 1 September FY 1
Expression of Interest Assessment and Decision 15 September FY 1
Applications Open 15 September FY 1
Applications Closed 1 November FY 1
Applications Assessment and Decision 31 January FY 1
Grant Acceptance and Agreement 15 March FY 1
Project Completion Prior to FDP or 31 March FY 2
Claim for Payment 15 April FY 2

* The municipal council may commence brigade engagement, project identification and submit EOI at any time of year, prior to 1 August to align with council preferred timing (FIGS as a BAU process) and MEMPC meeting schedule. 1 September (FY1) is the latest date for EOI submission to align with timeline.

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Assistance and support

Municipal councils first point of contact should be the Manager Community safety within the relevant CFA Region.

 

 

Page last updated:  Tuesday, 17 May 2022 10:37:00 AM