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Board communique

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The CFA Board held its regular monthly meeting on 20 November 2017.

Board communique

The Chair of the Board, Mr Greg Smith AM, began the meeting by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which the meeting was taking place.

Safety share

The Safety Share is a standing item at Board meetings. This month, Board member Lynda Hamilton spoke on this quarter’s safety share theme – sprains and strains. The Board was concerned that this type of injury makes up 39 per cent of all reported injuries in CFA. The Board noted that a range of safety tip sheets have been circulated to help reduce the risk of injury.

Board Committee news

The Board heard from the Chairs of the Board Committees, noting particularly that:

  • a draft CFA Community Engagement Framework will be considered by the Board at its next meeting
  • a Corporate Governance Framework is being developed for Board consideration early in the New Year
  • significant work on approaches to preserving CFA’s history is being undertaken by the Honours, Awards and Remembrance Committee
  • the People and Culture Committee is investigating the impacts on CFA of an ageing volunteer base
  • the Health, Safety and Environment Committee has a particular focus on the remediation of the Fiskville site.

Jones Lang LaSalle

Representatives from Jones Lang LaSalle attended the meeting.  JLL has been engaged to assist in long-term planning ahead of the current lease expiring at the end of 2019.

Quarter 1 Performance Report

The Board discussed the 2017-18 Quarter 1 Performance Report which included reports on:

  • progress against the CFA Performance Measurement Framework
  • implementation of the 2017/18 CFA Plan
  • delivery of the Minister’s Statement of Expectation.


At its August meeting, the Board considered an information paper on the Championships, and agreed that a strategy needed to be developed that outlined optimal arrangements for the Championships into the future. At this meeting, the Board agreed that the development of the strategy should be informed by an initial review of the Championships and other competitions. The Board agreed that the review should gather information on the current situation, undertake an assessment of costs, benefits and risks and, after consultation with key stakeholders, should develop a range of options for the Board to consider in due course.

Generating funds for brigades

The Board had a discussion about how additional funds could be generated to support brigades, to supplement the funds currently raised by brigades themselves. The Board agreed that a strategic approach to leveraging corporate sponsorship and donations would be beneficial to CFA, and endorsed CFA exploring the feasibility of establishing a CFA Foundation that could provide a coherent and proactive mechanism for raising funds.

Corio Fire Station

The Board discussed the redevelopment and possible relocation of Corio Fire Station, and referred the matter to the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee for consideration of the business case for redevelopment.

Risk Management Framework

The Board has had a number of workshops on the CFA Risk Management Framework in recent times, and received an update at this meeting on risk management activities, including:

  • refinement of CFA’s seven strategic risks
  • development of risk profiles for each CFA directorate
  • development of the Board’s risk appetite statements
  • integration of risk management into strategic and business planning processes.

Response time data

In the context of the first public report on response time data being released on 30 October, the Board received a summary and analysis of the data. The Board noted that the second public report is expected to be released by the end of November.

CEO's report

The Chief Executive Officer reported to the Board, noting particularly:

  • CFA attendance at a Rural Decline Workshop in Bungaree, opened by the Minister for Agriculture an Regional Development on 23 October
  • thirty-five volunteers from around the state attended the Emergency Services Foundation Volunteer Leaders Forum in October
  • Work is progressing in partnership with MFB and UFU regarding progress towards the attainment of gender targets identified within the Fire Services Statement
  • The development of an ICT Strategy has commenced.

CO's report

The Chief Officer reported to the Board, noting particularly:

  • the Learning Hub has now been live for four months, and over 10,000 people have logged in during that time
  • a Fire Behaviour Analyst pre-season event was held on 18-19 October with Dr Kevin Tolhurst
  • CFA, in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology, continues to progress a national grass curing system through the implementation of the National Improved Satellite Curing Algorithm
  • CFA is represented on the Cladding Taskforce, which is undertaking a pilot audit in Dandenong
  • a reporting dashboard has been established to monitor and report against progress on diversity targets and the effectiveness of inclusion ad fairness initiatives.

The Board meeting concluded with the Board Chair, Mr Greg Smith AM, introducing newly-appointed CFA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Paul Smith, to the Board.  The Board welcomed him to the role, which he will take up in February 2018.