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Don Kelly, Grampians Regional Director on local engagement
Grampians region has defined its approach to effective, proactive and deliberate engagement with brigades, groups and other internal stakeholders with the development of the Grampians region engagement strategy.
Our objective is to build relationships with our members, brigades and stakeholders so that we have a good understanding of their needs and how we can best service them.
The strategy sets a framework for dealing with CFA members, brigades, groups and catchments, with an emphasis on regular face-to-face communication at all levels. It encourages the establishment of partnerships with relevant people including community groups, other emergency services and CFA stakeholders.
It's about engaging in conversations with interested parties to improve decision-making and accountability towards corporate social responsibility.
This is our way of meeting our consultation obligations as set out
in the CFA Volunteer Charter, Country Fire Authority Act Section 6
and other legal responsibilities, including occupational health and
This stakeholder engagement takes into account the interests, concerns and objectives of CFA stakeholders in CFA decisions. Most often, the engagement involves two-way dialogue seeking an understanding and solution to a mutual concern. The engagement takes into account the varying perspectives, priorities, and limitations of different stakeholders.
We recognise that volunteers' views, opinions and concerns need to be fully considered, and meaningful consultation is necessary, allowing enough time for real involvement with the elected representatives of the volunteers. This is particularly relevant on matters that may impact on volunteers before the adoption or implementation of new or changed policies, procedures or
approaches. Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) is considered a
key partner in the implementation of our strategy.
This approach provides us with the ability to monitor, identify gaps in service and adjust work plans accordingly. Importantly it also provides an opportunity for CFA members to be involved in wider discussions, planning and other activities. Our intention is to record interactions so that we can benchmark our performance and develop improvement strategies.
Engaging with our stakeholders ensures that we're able to provide open and transparent two-way communication on all issues that might reasonably be expected to affect volunteers.
We also acknowledge that the style of consultation is important and that the type of consultation should be clarified up front. We use the International Association of Public Participation framework to meet this objective.
The strategy has been developed in conjunction with district planning committees and District VFBV committees, and will be regularly reviewed by seeking feedback.