Joint statement from the CFA Board Chair, CEO and Chief Officer
CFA welcomes the introduction of the Fiskville Redress Scheme to ensure support is provided to those impacted by activities at the former Fiskville Training College over a number of years.
The scheme will be open to people who were affected by activities at the former Fiskville Training College, including people who worked or trained at the site, and those who lived at the site or in the vicinity.
On behalf of CFA’s Board and Management, we acknowledge the significant issues of the past in relation to the management of this facility, which were outlined in the findings by the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville, handed down in 2016.
CFA is deeply sorry for any potential harm to volunteers and staff and other attendees at the time and the many people from the local community who supported CFA at this important site near Ballan.
As CFA’s leadership stated at the time of the Parliamentary Inquiry, what occurred at Fiskville pointed to failures in governance systems and processes on a number of fronts.
We know, and acknowledge, that these practices of the past are still impacting people today and that is why we are so pleased to see the Redress Scheme announced.
While we cannot change what happened in the past, there have been profound lessons at CFA from this experience and we are not the same organisation we were at that time.
Improvements have been introduced in governance at all levels, in safety management for our members and in environmental management.
Our health surveillance scheme has also been supporting CFA members and community members with potential impacts and we will continue to offer this important service.
The rehabilitation of the Fiskville site has been a significant program of the work over the last four years, which has been independently assessed by an EPA-accredited auditor.
And while none of this takes away from the concern or distress felt by our members and families, CFA remains committed to continued improvement in all we do.
We have strong environmental programs, both remedial and preventative, in place.
CFA has invested in safety improvements across all our operations, equipment and infrastructure.
Particularly important is the continued delivery of modern, environmentally-appropriate training facilities for our members, and other people who use these facilities, now and into the future.
There is no doubt that the health and safety of our members — and the health and safety of those who work with us in supporting our activities — is our key priority.
What occurred at Fiskville can never happen again. We will always work to ensure our members and our community are protected and safe.
Chair Greg Wilson
CEO Natalie MacDonald
Chief Officer Jason Heffernan