In the context of these findings from the key focus areas, FSIM provides the following four recommendations that FSIM considers fundamental to addressing key challenges to effective reform implementation, specifically the finalisation of agreements and work to support sustainable fire services.

This is a 10-year reform, and the majority of Year Two to Five Implementation Plan actions are yet to be completed. At the conclusion of this second year of reform FSIM notes that much progress has been made and embedding the reform continues. There are challenges that need to be resolved to complete key actions that are fundamental to reform success; however, FSIM has seen demonstrated commitment by CFA, DJCS and FRV to progress Year Two to Five Implementation Plan activity.

Ref Recommendations
1 Complementary fire services The Minister, in consultation with CFA, DJCS and FRV, should develop an agreed definition of complementary fire services, and how this translates to individual service delivery, underpinned by agreed principles to guide the finalisation of outstanding agreements
2 Complementary fire services

The Minister should nominate an appropriately authorised, representative and accountable strategic governance body that:

  • has authority to develop, endorse (and reinforce) detailed, definitive strategic foundational principles required to guide fire services sector-wide reform progress in line with broader emergency management principles and outcomes to ensure the community is provided with efficient and effective fire services
  • addresses issues where there are broader, strategic, whole-of-government barriers to implementation (for example, the ability to drive legislative change to complete an outstanding service delivery agreement)
  • oversees shared strategic programs of work or programs with significant implications for multiple agencies (for example, FRV’s Health Model, accreditation, or Firefighters Registration Board (FRB)) or where there are shared strategic accountabilities
3 All ‘in progress’ actions CFA and FRV should confirm relevant and appropriate performance measures to demonstrate progress of their Year Two to Five Implementation Plan actions towards their objectives
4 Fire services sustainability

The Minister should request CFA, DJCS and FRV to convene a financial sustainability governance body to develop and agree on a project plan that clearly maps interdependent activities and key inputs (for example, initial funding plan actions, strategic workforce plan, CFA operating model, CFA seconded workforce capability and capacity requirements) impacting immediate (years three and four) and long-term funding requirements for CFA and FRV. This mechanism should discuss strategic fire services sustainability issues at a high level (excluding confidential financial data relevant to each individual agency) to understand and resolve strategic interdependent issues and identify opportunity for efficiencies.

This plan could include:

  • delivery milestones and timeframes for completion of interdependent actions
  • identifying what agency is responsible for delivery
  • oversight that enables monitoring of deliverables.
Bringing together these aspects (at a minimum) may provide an opportunity to identify opportunities for funding synergies across the fire services.