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.
The Safety Share was provided by Operations Manager Tony O’Day and Ms Irina Tchernitskaia, Psychologist Wellbeing Programs, who presented an overview of Organisational Wellbeing. The Board noted the significant work being done through:
- the Peer Support Program for volunteers and PTA staff;
- the Chaplaincy Program;
- mental health checks;
- Member Wellbeing Advisors;
- the Member Assistance Program
- leadership development/coaching in mental health;
- a range of collaboration and promotional activities.
The Chief Executive Officer advised the Board that he had written to Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) about future funding arrangements. The Board noted that under the proposed Funding Agreement offered to VFBV:
- there was provision for a significant increase in the funding amount;
- VFBV’s important role in representing and advocating for volunteers was explicitly acknowledged and protected;
- there is improved certainty and security for VFBV over the current ad hoc arrangements, through the provision of a four-year term and inclusion of CFA’s intention to enter a further agreement when the proposed one expires;
- CFA would be able to meet its obligations to provide sound financial oversight and comply with the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance, by providing funds via a properly structured Agreement that meets Victorian Public Sector standards.
The Board approved the payment of a 3% wage increase for operational staff, effective from 1 May 2018.
The CEO also highlighted in his report to the Board:
- the recently released statement by CFA on historical child sexual abuse, and the support services that have been established for survivors of this abuse;
- the process for assessing applications under the Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Program is well underway;
- the draft Risk Management Framework for brigades has been completed, engagement with key user group representatives to test and refine the Framework is underway; and
- the Spirit of CFA Awards Ceremony will be held on 20 May in Ballarat.
The Chief Officer spoke to his report, and highlighted:
- a training program on the use of new breathing apparatus is being developed;
- a trial of a wireless intercom system for tankers will be completed by the end of April;
- as part of Safer Together: Community Based Bushfire Management, six workshops have been held across all regions with a range of stakeholders; and
- the significant multi-agency effort that is being applied to extinguish the peat fire in South West Victoria.
The Chief Financial Officer reported to the Board on CFA’s financial performance for the period ended 30 March 2018 and noted that the budget was tracking favourably. The Board discussed three projects that have been added to CFA’s capital budget as a result of funding from the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution.
The Board received advice that the existing State Logistics Centre has outgrown its current premises, and approved CFA entering into a new lease arrangement to enable the relocation of the Centre to a property that meets the size, accessibility and potential CFA future growth requirements for logistics and storage.
As part of its approach to greater transparency and accountability to the Victorian Community, the Board agreed to issue a CFA Governance Statement and a new CFA Integrity Framework before the end of the financial year. The Board also endorsed amendments to the CFA Values, and approved a new review cycle for delegations at CFA.