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Independent Monitor’s report into Fiskville released
The work to improve CFA's HS&E practices continues, and it is satisfying to see previous work recognised by CFA's independent monitor, Kieran Walshe, in his final report.
When Professor Joy's Independent Fiskville Investigation (IFI) Report – Understanding the Past to Inform the Future, commissioned by CFA, was released in 2012, CFA appointed Kieran Walshe* as the Independent Monitor to oversee the implementation of the report's recommendations, as well as the further management actions initiated by the CFA Board.
Kieran's final report was released today. The report found that CFA has demonstrated a strong commitment to respond to the IFI report during the past three years, recognising that CFA has:
• Conducted hundreds of soil and groundwater tests
• Tested water quality at Lake Fiskville and downstream
• Switched from dam water to town mains water
• Started remediation work at the site
• Created a health surveillance program and health impact study
• Established a Health Safety and Environment Board Committee
• Appointed an environmental adviser.
I know many people have questioned why the Fiskville Training College can't be reopened once rehabilitation and remediation work has been completed.
The CFA Board unanimously decided to close the facility for the safety and wellbeing of staff and volunteers because it could not guarantee the safety of the site.
Safety of our members is my number one priority, and while the closure has been difficult for many who worked and trained at the site, I believe it was the right decision.
We are working to identify a new training centre. In the meantime, I am travelling to all Regions to discuss HS&E more broadly and to discuss the findings of the interim report from the Parliamentary Inquiry.
FISKVILLE INQUIRY TO RESUME
Meanwhile, the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Fiskville is resuming, with the next public hearing today (Monday 27 July).
It is the first public hearing to be held since the interim report was released in June.
CFA has been invited to make further submissions to the Inquiry, and we expect we will be called to a public hearing in the coming weeks.
The public hearing will be held from 1pm to 4.15pm at Parliament House, Spring Street. Transcripts from each hearing can be viewed here.
The committee's final report is due by 1 December.
I will continue to keep you informed of the Inquiry's progress, and the search for a new training facility location.
*Kieran Walshe was a former Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police.