News & Media

Fiskville update #4

By: Mick Bourke

  11.00 AM 22 December, 2011

Views: 5305

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.

I understand that people are concerned and want answers, but these concerns are complex and getting to the bottom of them will take some time. We are determined to deal with this matter properly, as I've said before - we owe that to our members.

It's also important to remind people that these matters are historical, dating back more than 30 years. There is no evidence to suggest any current risks at Fiskville and a recent hygienist review found that there were no risks that would affect volunteers, employees and anyone else visiting the facility. WorkSafe has also done an inspection of the site.

The independent investigator will examine CFA records to determine the full extent of the situation, including:

  • Previous site condition reports and subsequent remediation works
  • Members who may have attended Fiskville (as a trainee or employee) for any lengthy period between 1971 and 1999:

A very large number of CFA's records are not electronically available and therefore need to be thoroughly searched manually.

Where there are information and history gaps the investigation team will get further information from current and former staff of Fiskville and others who know the site well. I encourage anyone with information to get in touch.

Both Chief Officer Ferguson and myself have met and visited former key members and gathered some relevant information and documentation about past Fiskville practices and this will form a part of the investigation (including an extract of the Geotechnical Investigation report of 1 July 1988, described in the media as the ‘1990 scientific report').

We have located a complete copy of that 1988 report in our archives and have provided it to the independent investigator and a copy to Worksafe.

Recent other work to assist the investigation has included:

  • Setting up the office to accommodate the independent investigation team
  • Engagement of Office Manager / Secretarial support
  • Secured the services of a key CFA person to the project team as requested by the Independent Chair of the Investigation as he has a wealth of knowledge on the Fiskville site
  • Development of scope for examination/hygiene testing of other field training grounds/sites and secured the services of a senior Training Manager to manage the project
  • Responding to numerous requests by the independent Chairman.

The independent investigation needs to be thoroughly conducted first so we know exactly what occurred at Fiskville and to ensure the best process for understanding the possible health impacts on people.

The Terms of Reference for the Independent Investigation into the CFA Facility at Fiskville (1971-1999) are available at: cfaconnect.net.au/fiskville-terms-of-reference. A seven days a week ‘Investigation and Information' hot line (1800 628 616) has been set up for people with concerns or information to call between 8:30am and 8:30pm. People can email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Robert Joy inspects Fiskville Training College

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Robert Joy inspects Fiskville Training College

To view all Fiskville updates visit: www.cfa.vic.gov.au/connect

Last Updated: 10 December 2015