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Media reports on budget reductions to CFA and MFB
A number of media outlets have recently reported on budget reductions to both CFA and MFB.
I understand that these reports are of concern for our members and also members of the public. When the State Budget was handed down, we knew we were working in a tight fiscal environment and like any other government entity, we would need to tighten our belts.
At that time CFA made a decision to do three things:
- Maintain service delivery,
- Continue to provide support to Brigade and volunteers,
- Continue operational training at the levels of the previous year.
The prevailing budget means we will need to make some hard decisions along the way and the Executive are committed to doing this in a professional manner.
We have already taken action to achieve higher efficiency from all Head Office budgets. This means that the overall budgets for each department within Head Office has seen some reductions. Savings will need to be found from various sources in each area.
We plan to manage our projects more efficiently and also by ensuring that the projects that we run align with our strategic priorities.
We will also look at re-phasing the timing of major projects to deliver the desired outcomes even if over a longer period of time and to better fit with our cash flow.
While we are facing budget cuts in a variety of areas, CFA is committed to our front line services and these will not be affected. However, CFA will look at managing overtime and relief arrangements more closely while maintaining our current level of service delivery.
Finally, we will also consider staffing levels at Head Office in Melbourne and elsewhere to ensure we are efficiently meeting our service delivery demands. It is important to understand that CFA has $300 million in the bank that has been provided in past years for projects and programs that are to be delivered over the next few years. Our current budget, which is double that of a decade ago, along with this project funding means that we are going to have another busy year at CFA.
If you have any questions about the media reports or CFA's budget I encourage you to speak to your manager. We will be providing managers with more information as it becomes available.
Audio with CFA CEO Mick Bourke on ABC Ballarat120905 ABC Ballarat Breakfast Mick Bourke by cfavic
Audio from ABC Statewide Drive interview with Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan120904 ABC Statewide Drive Peter Ryan by cfavic