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CFA Fiskville investigation - update #3
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.
A full copy of the full Terms of Reference is available on CFA Connect. It states that the role of the independent Chair Rob Joy is to investigate and provide an independent report to the CFA Board and CEO by the end of March 2012 which, following consideration, will be made public.
Significantly, it says the Chair will have open access to all available CFA documents, systems, studies and resources plus access to all people employed or associated with CFA or the site, past and present (subject to their willingness to participate).
In summary, the investigation and subsequent report will:
· Examine and consider the historical facts relating to the nature, acquisition and use of liquids, gases or solids for live fire fighting training at Fiskville;
· Identify and list any documents or reports that contain comments on or recommendations about the use and disposal of flammable substances and extinguishing agents used for live fire fighting training at Fiskville;
· Report on how effectively each comment or recommendation was acted upon; and, where no action was taken, comment on the reasons for and implications of such lack of action;
· Identify the origins of the flammable substances and report on how they were stored, used and disposed of; and assess the likelihood of the use and management of flammable substances and extinguishing agents having led to contamination of air, land or groundwater at, under or beyond the Fiskville facility;
· Identify the nature and extent of exposure to the flammable substances, extinguishing agents and fire water of persons on-site and in surrounding areas;
· On the basis of available information, assess the risk that there are buried flammable substances, drums and/or other related contaminants on the site.
As I've said here previously, the investigation is into allegations about practices and operational settings dating back as far as the 1970s so it will take time to thoroughly check records and speak to people.
There is no evidence to suggest any risk to those at Fiskville now, and this was confirmed by an initial review by a hygienist last week. That said, many CFA members are understandably concerned.
We will continue to provide regular information updates on the CFA website and via media.
I want to leave nobody in any doubt how seriously we take this matter. We are determined to deal with this matter properly because our people, past and present, are our priority.