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Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021-22

23 Mar 2023

This second annual report provides an assessment of the second year of implementation progress of Victoria’s fire services reform (1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022). In this second year, the Fire Services Implementation Monitor (FSIM) assessed fire services reform implementation in Victoria by considering foundational Year Two to Five Fire Services Reform Implementation Plan (Year Two to Five Implementation Plan) actions and activities required for the reform to succeed.

Reform implementation activity should be built on a clear and agreed understanding of interoperable, complementary fire services to guide delivery in line with the intentions of the reform. However, agencies are yet to define complementary services, making it difficult to make consistent and principle-based decisions to complete key fire services reform actions. Agreeing on ‘why’ a specific agency is responsible for aspects of Victoria’s fire services will provide clarity and consistency as to how operational arrangements are finalised and can be used as a guide to finalise principles underpinning service delivery arrangements. Without this clarity, FSIM considers there to be a real risk that foundational agreements will remain outstanding at the end of the third year of reform and that other key pieces of work, including service delivery approaches, may be impeded.

In addition, as agencies move into the third year of reform implementation, ensuring clarity on how agencies are measuring their progress and effectiveness towards Year Two to Five Implementation Plan actions is fundamental. Defining these metrics will be a critical step for FSIM to assess the significant number of actions due in year three.

FSIM saw clear evidence that agencies continue to progress work against individual actions. However, at the completion of year two, progress was delayed for many actions and reform is behind the schedule outlined in the Year Two to Five Implementation Plan. As at 30 June 2022, the status of the 41 actions from the Year Two to Five Implementation Plan were as follows:

  • 2 complete
  • 9 progressing and on track
  • 20 progressing and experiencing minor delays
  • 6 progressing and experiencing significant delays
  • 4 not yet commenced.

Within FSIM-defined key focus areas, this report focused on 29 of the 41 Year Two to Five Implementation Plan actions fundamental to the reform’s success. However, it should be noted that this report is based on activities undertaken in the 2021-22 financial year and the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) may have already addressed some of the issues highlighted in this report or significantly progressed actions.