Reforming Victoria’s Fire Services
Our current fire services arrangements have their origins in the 1890s and have remained largely unchanged for 60 years.
The bravery, skill and dedication of our firefighters, whether career or volunteer, keep Victorian communities safe.
But firefighters are let down by outdated management and governance structures that can’t keep up with Victoria’s rapid growth and evolution.
Country Fire Authority (CFA) serves rural, regional and urban areas with a network of 1,220 community-based volunteer brigades, including 35 integrated stations staffed by career firefighters and volunteers.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has career firefighters at 47 stations across Melbourne.
A new organisation – Fire Rescue Victoria – will bring together MFB and CFA career firefighters to serve metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres. Victoria’s 1,220 CFA volunteer brigades will be strengthened and supported to serve and protect their communities as they always have.
In support of these reforms, the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017 was introduced to Parliament on 24 May 2017.
On 21 June an eight member Select Committee was appointed to inquire into, consider and report on the proposed Bill. All public, agency and government submissions were due by 7 July and were to be guided by the inquiry’s Terms of Reference.
The Select Committee is presently conducting public meetings with community and agency representatives throughout the state, with a final report due no later than 8 August 2017.