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Board Update: September 2016
The CFA Board held its second regular meeting on Monday 19 September to consider matters relating to its function and responsibility supporting CFA.
This communique is to provide members with an update on the work of the Board and will be issued after each meeting.
Over the last month, members of the Board have continued to meet CFA brigades and people around the state. It is worth acknowledging that while proceedings relating to the enterprise agreement are the subject of ongoing media interest, in meeting with frontline and support personnel, the Board has been impressed by the shared determination of all CFA members to keep their focus on efforts to make Victorians safe.
The Board approved the extension of Steve Warrington’s tenure in the role of Chief Officer until
31 March 2017.
The Board determined that this would provide stability, leadership and consistency over the summer season.
Following a rigorous assessment of three executive recruitment providers, Cordiner King was engaged to recruit a new CEO. The Board was informed that Cordiner King will expedite the national and international search and selection process. Specifically, Cordiner King will run an 8-10 week recruitment process leading to the appointment of the successful candidate by mid-November.
The Board was briefed on the Parliamentary Inquiry into the former Fiskville Training College, the Inquiry’s recommendations and progress of those recommendations, where appropriate.
In addition, the Board was briefed on a proposal to undertake remediation works at the former Fiskville Training College. These works will focus primarily on the area where large-scale firefighting training was delivered. This area contains the highest level of contamination and spans approximately eight hectares.
The Board was informed that the remediation project is complex and high risk due to the size and diversity of contaminants, and also the changing regulatory environment.
The Board gave in principle approval for CFA to explore options for carrying out the remediation works.
Establishment of new Board Subcommittees
The Board was briefed on the progress of the Governance Review that is being undertaken by IG Partners. The Board endorsed new Committee structures and scope, including membership. The Board noted that IG Partners would work with the Committee Chairs and the Executive to produce new terms of reference and annual planners for each committee.
The approved new structure is below:
Safety, Health & Environment Committee
People & Culture Committee
Financial Risk & Audit Committee
Strategy, Planning & Governance Committee
Community Engagement Committee
The Board was briefed on and endorsed the 2016-17 CFA Budget. The Budget was developed with a focus on ensuring CFA continues to develop and bolster its service delivery capability, addressing business systems and processes, and supporting CFA’s Strategy and Annual Plan.
The 2016-17 Budget will also support State Government commitments, as set out in the Minister’s Statement of Expectations.
Overview of major projects
The Board was briefed on recent major projects that CFA has delivered, including:
- the three integrated fire stations at Rowville, South Warrandyte and Boronia that are now equipped to provide emergency medical response services
- a new fire station at Huntly that is ready for service
- the successful completion of six firefighting trucks.
Addressing bullying and harassment
The Board was briefed on efforts to counter and reduce incidents of bullying and harassment within CFA. The Board was advised that expert advice is currently being sought to support the development of an organisation-wide change program. This program will take into account the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s (VHREOC) recommendations stemming from the Victorian Fire Services Review.
This work is underway in response to a Board Action item.
The Board was briefed on progress in broadening CFA’s engagement with Connecting Skills Australia (CSA) – a not-for-profit body supporting adults with a disability in development and training roles.
The Board was advised that CFA now has partnerships with CSA across four brigades – Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Tarwin Lower and Glen Alvie. It was noted that the Brigade Support Team plans to encourage further participation across CFA in this partnership program.
The Board was briefed on the Annual Report for 2015-16. Due to the current Board being appointed only one week before the reporting period deadline, it was noted that the Board would be limited in their capacity to provide a full overview of the functions and governance of CFA for the reporting period.
Presentation from EMV
The Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley presented to the Board on the function of Emergency Management Victoria – specifically, its role as the lead control agency under the state emergency response plan.
The Commissioner briefed the Board on emergency management operations and critical decision making during events, including how information and warnings are provided to the community.
Enterprise Agreement update
The Chair briefed the Board on the ongoing efforts to resolve the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.