Fiskville investigation updates
Friday 28 February, Fiskville update #34, CEO Mick Bourke
In early January we commenced the first stage of civil engineering works at our Fiskville State Training College. These works are now well advanced and will reduce the risk of water and sediments from the dams and Lake Fiskville, which contain residues from hot fire training activities, from discharging off-site. Read more >>
Friday 23 August, Fiskville update #33, CEO Mick Bourke
Some of you may have seen another Herald Sun story last weekend, which put into question the future of CFA's Training College Fiskville, which I cannot allow to pass unchallenged. The fact is, in the last State budget the Government allocated $16.8m to implement the recommendations of the Professor Rob Joy report and additional management initiatives. Read more >>
Wednesday 31 July, Fiskville update #32, CEO Mick Bourke
CEO Mick Bourke announces another important milestone in CFA’s work to implement the recommendations from the Professor Joy report. “Mr Walshe today released his Interim Report. Broadly, the report indicates that CFA has made good progress with the program of activities and, at this stage, vindicates CFA’s actions and intent to address and respond to the Independent Fiskville Investigation.” Read more >>
Thursday 23 May, Fiskville update #31, CEO Mick Bourke
"As a result of work implementing the recommendations of the Professor Joy Report, we were told in February that testing of flesh from four fish from Lake Fiskville showed they contained PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a chemical in foams used until 2007." Read more >>
Thursday 23 May, As a result of work implementing the recommendations of the Professor Joy Report, CFA was advised in February 2013 that fish caught and tested from Lake Fiskville contained PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate)."
Saturday 11 May, Fiskville update #30, CEO Mick Bourke
"CFA welcomes the $16.8 million funding announced by the Victorian Government on Tuesday which enables us to continue our important upgrades at CFA training campuses - in particular Fiskville Training College." Read more >>
Friday 3 May, Fiskville update #29, CEO Mick Bourke
"Tomorrow I expect the Herald Sun to again report false and misleading claims surrounding our handling of the issues at CFA Training College Fiskville. I want to refute these claims in the strongest possible terms." Read more >>
Wednesday 1 May, Fiskville update #28, CEO Mick Bourke
"In January CFA welcomed the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) oversight of plans to assess and manage environmental matters at Fiskville relating to historical firefighting training practices.
I am now pleased to report that two important milestones in our work with EPA have been achieved." Read more >>
Monday 16 April, Fiskville update #27, CEO Mick Bourke
"Reports in the media this morning have sought to make false links between environmental works at CFA's Fiskville Training College and the safety of our members who work and train at the facility. I'd like to reiterate that Fiskville is safe for use by all volunteers, staff, trainees and visitors." Read more >>
Wednesday 3 April, Fiskville update #26, CEO Mick Bourke
"Work continues to modernise and upgrade the training water supply and treatment systems at CFA Training College - Fiskville.
Cardno Lane Piper's team of engineers has nearly completed the preparation of a draft design for the construction of a channel to divert Berembroke Creek around Lake Fiskville and they are now working with our Program Office to identify and arrange the necessary permits." Read more >>
Friday 22 February, Fiskville update #25, CEO Mick Bourke
Friday 22 February, Fiskville update #25, CEO Mick Bourke
"Yesterday, I visited Fiskville with Lex de Man, Executive Director Operational Training and Volunteerism, to meet with Fiskville Operations Manager Justin Justin and his staff. The purpose of our meeting was to get a briefing from environmental engineering firm Cardno Lane Piper on preliminary findings from their environmental and human health assessments which commenced in September last year." Read more >>
Monday 11 February, Fiskville update #24, CEO Mick Bourke
"I am pleased to announce the appointment of former Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe APM as the Independent Monitor - Fiskville. This appointment fulfils a key promise made by the Board in its response to the Professor Joy Report." Read more >>
Wednesday 23 January, Fiskville update #23, CEO Mick Bourke
"CFA has welcomed the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) oversight of plans to assess and manage environmental matters at CFA Training College - Fiskville." Read more >>
Thursday 13 December, Fiskville update #22, CEO Mick Bourke
"I'm pleased to announce a new environmental advisor for all CFA training grounds has been appointed and will commence with the organisation next Monday 17 December.
Robert Powell will work in the Informing the Future program office and will be responsible for leading the development, implementation and maintenance of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems across CFA's training grounds." Read more >>
Thursday 6 December, Monash to conduct FV study
"One of Australia’s most respected cancer research institutions, Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, has agreed to investigate the cancer incidence and all causes of mortality among Fiskville trainers and instructors." Read more >>
Thursday 29 November, Fiskville water supply issues
"Fiskville is currently experiencing water supply issues due to a problem with the water pressure coming from Central Highlands Water." Read more >>
Monday 12 November, Fiskville Update #20, CEO Mick Bourke
"We will soon be renaming six of our field training grounds as part of the transition from regional management to central management within Operational Training and Volunteerism (OT&V). The Informing the Future Program Office has recently led a consultation process with OT&V, regional leadership teams, and local training and planning committees to agree on the new names." Read more >>
Tuesday 23 October, Fiskville Update #19, CEO Mick Bourke
"A new above ground water tank was installed at Fiskville last week, further enhancing access to town water for hot fire training.
This new tank, along with a similar recently installed tank, is fully enclosed and contains ‘food grade' internal bladders which hold the water. The new tank replaces the previous underground storage tank known as ‘the Pit' (which was also filled with town mains water but was not fully enclosed), which is no longer in use." Read more >>
Wednesday 10 October, Fiskville Update #18, Acting CEO Euan Ferguson
"Recently, there has been some confusion around the water quality at our Fiskville site. It's important for our members to know which water supply is being used at Fiskville and where the water is sourced from. Attached is a diagram of the Fiskville hot fire Practical Area Drill (PAD) and the water storage and pumping systems used to transport water for hot fire training." Read more >>
Monday 24 September, Fiskville Update #17, Acting CEO Euan Ferguson
"A key Fiskville related project took an important step forward last week with a 1.5 day regional training ground planning session at Melton.
The transition of responsibility for the regional training grounds to the Executive Director Operational Training and Volunteerism was one of 11 initiatives announced by CFA following the release of the Professor Joy Report (which included 10 separate recommendations)." Read more >>
Tuesday 18 September, Fiskville Update #16, Acting CEO Euan Ferguson
"Environmental engineering firm Cardno Lane Piper has begun site assessments at CFA's regional training grounds, which will include assessments of soil, groundwater, surface water and fire fighting water quality.
Last week they began work at Penhurst, drilling bores and taking soil and ground water samples from various locations around the site. Sample collection from all our regional training grounds will continue throughout October." Read more >>
Friday 31 August, Fiskville Update #15, CEO Mick Bourke
"Since we announced the voluntary Health Surveillance Program a few weeks ago as part of CFA's response to the Professor Joy Report, the package has now been offered to 110 past and present members (who were identified as high risk of exposure)." Read more >>
Friday 24 August, Fiskville Update #14, Sherry Herman
"I am pleased to take this opportunity to issue my first formal communication to you since my commencement in the role of ‘Program Manager - Informing the Future' on Monday of last week." Read more >>
Wednesday 22 August, Fiskville water test results
"Work has now commenced on recommendation number 6 of the Professor Joy Report, which relates to waters and sediments in the dams and fire fighting water quality. Results of the tests are published online. Read more >>
Thursday 16 August, Fiskville Update #13, CEO Mick Bourke
"Progress is being made with the implementation of the Voluntary Health Surveillance Program with some past and present members already registered for the program. We are taking every care we can when contacting people who we believe may be interested in the program in order to be respectful of their circumstance." Read more >>
Tuesday 14 August 2012, Progress at Fiskville
"CFA continues to make good progress implementing the 10 recommendations laid out in the Professor Joy Report and 11 additional management initiatives at its Fiskville Training College." Read more >>
Wednesday 8 August 2012, Fiskville Update #12, CEO Mick Bourke
"CFA's response to the Professor Joy Report ‘Informing the Future' provided 11 management initiatives in addition to the 10 recommendations. One of these initiatives - the voluntary health surveillance program - was announced this week and will be rolled out shortly.
We will soon begin contacting present and past members identified in the Professor Joy Report as belonging to high and medium risk of exposure groups compared to all others who were at Fiskville between 1971 and 1999, inviting them to participate in the program." Read more >>
Friday 27 July 2012, Fiskville Update #11, CEO Mick Bourke
"This week I visited staff at Fiskville, along with Deputy Chief Officer John Haynes, two consultants from Cardno Lane Piper and other members of my executive team.
The main purpose of our visit was to reiterate that business will continue as usual at Fiskville and any calls to close the site are unwarranted." Read more >>
Friday 20 July 2012, Fiskville Update #10, CEO Mick Bourke
"Following the release of the Professor Joy Report last week, environmental engineering firm Cardno Lane Piper has begun work to oversee the implementation of the 10 recommendations outlined within the report.
Cardno Lane Piper has been engaged by CFA to oversee improvements at Fiskville, including the fire training water management system." Read more >>
Thursday 12 July 2012, CFA to implement all recommendations of Professor Joy Report
"CFA today publicly released the Professor Joy Report (into historical use of chemicals for live fire fighting training at Fiskville between 1971 and 1999) and the organisation’s detailed response.
CFA has committed to implementing all 10 recommendations, accepted all conclusions and announced 11 additional related initiatives including a health impact study." Read more >>
Thursday 12 July 2012, CEO response to Professor Joy Report, CEO Mick Bourke
"CEO Mick Bourke has given CFA's response to the Professor Joy Report, which examines the historic use of chemicals used in live fire fighting training at Fiskvile between 1971 and 1999.
Mr Bourke discusses the actions that CFA will take following the release of the report - including a health impact study - and acknowledges that CFA should have done better and will learn lessons for the future." Read more >>
Thursday 12 July 2012, Fiskville Q&A, Read more >>
Thursday 12 July, Media coverage: Prof Joy Report, Read more >>
Friday 6 July 2012, Fiskville water quality, CEO Mick Bourke
"As you may be aware the Herald Sun recently reported on the quality of water being used for training purposes at Fiskville. We take very seriously the health, safety and wellbeing of our members and indeed all persons using the training facilities at Fiskville.
To provide certainty and comfort for all people doing live fire training at Fiskville, we made a decision last week to only use mains water until further notice." Read more >>
Thursday 5 July 2012, Fiskville Update #9, CEO Mick Bourke
"The CFA Board has now held an initial meeting to consider the Professor Joy Report (into historical use of chemicals for live firefighting training at Fiskville between 1971 and 1999) and discussed management's progress on a detailed CFA response." Read more >>
Thursday 28 June 2012, Professor Joy's report received by CFA Board, CEO Mick Bourke
"Today I received Independent Investigator Professor Rob Joy's report into historic practices for live fire fighting training at Fiskville.
The CFA Board will consider the report before releasing it publicly along with its response.
I'd like to thank Professor Joy and his team for what was an outstanding effort to bring the report together over a six month period. I'd also like to reassure people that the report will be made available in coming weeks." Read more
Monday 25 June 2012, Fiskville water allegations, CEO Mick Bourke
"I would like to reassure all CFA members - and other agencies that use the facility - that recent independent laboratory testing of water used for training purposes has been confirmed as meeting the health standards.
As a precaution, further routine testing was brought forward and all these results will be available to CFA later this week; however the e.coli (heath) indicator has been received and shows a favourable reading of 23MPN/100mL against the limit of 150." Read more >>
Wednesday 20 June 2012, Fiskville update #8, CEO Mick Bourke
"Independent Investigator Professor Rob Joy has confirmed that his report on historic practices at Fiskville will be delivered to the CFA Board on schedule by 30 June.
The Board will consider the report before releasing it publicly along with its response. I'd like to reassure our people that it will be made available to you as soon as possible following 30 June. If you have registered to receive updates from us, you'll be notified by email when the report is available to download from CFA Connect." Read more >>
Thursday 8 March 2012, Fiskville update #7, CEO Mick Bourke
"Following a request from Independent Fiskville Investigator Professor Rob Joy, CFA has approved a three month extension of the Independent Investigation into the use of chemicals for live fire fighting training practices at Fiskville Training College dating back as far as the 1970s." Read more >>
Wednesday 25 January, Fiskville update #6, CEO Mick Bourke
"Given recent reports about the historical live fire fighting training activities at Fiskville, some members and their families may have concerns about the current safety of the Fiskville site. We can assure you that the ground is safe for all staff, trainees and visitors - this has been confirmed by two independent hygiene reports." Read more >>
Thursday 19 January, ABC Ballarat interviews independent investigator Rob Joy, audio below.
Monday 16 January, Fiskville update #5, CEO Mick Bourke
"A number of CFA members, past and present, and their families have contacted CFA to register their interest in receiving regular updates and to volunteer information which they believe will be useful to the independent investigator Professor Rob Joy.
Now the Independent Investigator is up and running, we urge members with information useful to the inquiry to contact Professor Joy's team directly on (03) 5420 9260 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday or email email@example.com." Read more >>
Thursday 22 December, Fiskville update #4, CEO Mick Bourke
"The Fiskville investigation is well underway with the independent Chair - former deputy Chairman of Environmental Protection Authority Robert Joy - inspecting the facility this week.
The independent investigation is due to report back by the end of March 2012, after which it will be made public.
We ask for patience while this work is being done." Read more >>
Wednesday 14 December, CFA Fiskville investigation #3, CEO Mick Bourke
"Today we've released the Terms of Reference for the Independent Investigation Into The CFA Facility At Fiskville (1971-1999).
We also announced a new ‘Investigation and Information' hot line (1800 628 616) for people with concerns to call between 8:30am and 8:30pm. Callers will by able to access assistance directly, or be referred on for further advice." Read more >>
Wednesday 14 December, Fiskville investigation Terms of Reference, Fiskville Project Team
Terms of Reference for the Independent Investigation Into The CFA Facility At Fiskville (1971-1999) have been published on CFA Connect. Read more >>
Monday 12 December, Reports of Fiskville links with cancers, Chief Officer Euan Ferguson
"All of us, CFA members past and present and our families, have been shocked and saddened by reports in the Herald Sun last week that link past practices at Fiskville to various forms of cancer. Our foremost thoughts are with those CFA members who are or have been a victim of cancer and to the families of CFA members have been cancer victims. For many of us at CFA, Fiskville has been a big part of our lives. We've lived there, worked there, trained there, met there, celebrated there and we've mourned there. Many CFA members have raised their families there. Fiskville is, and has been for so many years, an integral part of the origins, history and culture of the CFA. Fiskville is close to all of our hearts." Read more >>
Thursday 8 December, Fiskville Herald Sun article by CEO, CEO Mick Bourke
"We have no evidence to suggest any risk to those who visit or work at Fiskville today. This was confirmed by an initial review by a hygienist this week. This is important information that can provide confidence to CFA members. WorkSafe has also done an inspection of the site this week and we will continue to work with them. We are also working with the EPA." Read more >>
Wednesday 7 December, Fiskville update #2, CEO Mick Bourke
"In this latest update I can advise you that former deputy chairman of the EPA Rob Joy has accepted a role to chair the Fiskville investigation.
With 25 years' experience in environment protection and resource management, his credentials are exemplary.
These issues are complex and we expect the investigation will take some time." Read more >>
Tuesday 6 December, Fiskville update #1, CEO Mick Bourke
“As many CFA members would be aware, the Herald Sun ran a series of articles this morning making a number of very serious allegations linking CFA's Training College at Fiskville to cancers in CFA members and their families. These allegations date back to the 1970s and 80s.” Read more >>
Tuesday 6 December, Herald Sun raises Fiskville concern, CFA Media
“The Herald Sun ran articles and an editorial this morning that make a number of very serious allegations linking alleged practices at CFA’s Training College at Fiskville to cancers in CFA members and their families.” Read more >>
Tuesday 6 December, Today’s Herald Sun article, Chief Officer Euan Ferguson
“This morning's Herald Sun contains an article by Ruth Lamperd that makes a number of very serious allegations linking CFA's Training College at Fiskville to cancers in CFA members and their families.
These are very serious claims. The first time that we became aware of this report was yesterday when we were asked for comment by the Herald Sun." Read more >>