Progress of Action 3.2

Action 3.2: Complete delivery of the $48.2 million fire station and firefighting fleet replacement program.

Action objective: Priority stations and appliances are replaced to ensure they are fit for purpose and enhance operational response.

Lead agency: CFA

Year Two to Five Plan (November 2021) completion dateYear Two to Five Plan (updated May 2023) completion dateAgency reported status as at 30 June 2023
June 2025June 2025In progress – significant delays

Context

This action requires CFA to complete delivery of the $48.2 million Station Fleet Replacement Program which comprises the following projects:

  • 15 Stations Replacement Program for volunteer brigades
  • Clyde Volunteer Station (a new station at a new location)
  • Tanker Replacement (50 Firefighting Appliances) to replace 50 aged rural wildfire response tankers with 48 Heavy Tankers and two Crew Cab Light Tankers.

The Station Fleet Replacement Program funded through the $126 million Capability Funding allocated as part of Fire Services Reform implementation to enhance CFA’s critical training, equipment, infrastructure, and volunteer support delivery. This program will contribute to improved service delivery of fire and emergency services by brigades in the CAoV.

Progress summary

As of 30 June 2023, five CFA-led fire station replacements were completed. Eight of the 15 stations in the Station Replacement Program and the Clyde Volunteer Station have been transitioned to CSBA.

Table 9 outlines the status of the respective stations and fleet replacement projects delivery as at 30 June 2023.

Table 9: Station Fleet Replacement Program status

Station Fleet Replacement
Status
Progress as at 30 June 2023

15 Stations Replacement Program

(Details refer to Table 10)

In progress – significant delays

Five station replacements completed by CFA.

Eight station replacement projects have successfully transitioned from CFA to CSBA and are currently at various development stages.

Clyde Volunteer Station

In progress – significant delays

Land search and acquisition and project delivery has successfully transitioned from CFA to CSBA.

Tanker Replacement

(50 Firefighting Appliances)

In progress – on track

16 tankers delivered.

2 Crew Cab Light Tankers delivered.

1. 15 Stations Replacement Program and Clyde Volunteer Station

CFA established a project plan and schedule to deliver the 15 Stations Replacement Program for volunteer brigades. The plan notes that many of the 15 stations to be replaced are over 40 years old and require upgrading to meet the demands of growing townships and emerging weather threats.

Table 10 outlines the status of 15 Station Replacement Program as at 30 June 2023.

Table 10: 15 Stations Replacement Program

Stations, Delivery Agency and Status
Progress as at 30 June 2023

1. Coldstream

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: Complete

Progress: New station complete and open on 2 June 2023.

2. Modewarre

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: Complete

Progress: New station complete and open on 24 May 2023.

3. Dimboola

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: Complete

Progress: New station complete and operational since February 2023.

4. Warracknabeal

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: Complete

Progress: New station complete and handover to brigade in May 2023.

5. Molka

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: Complete

Progress: New station complete and open on 15 June 2023.

6. Natte Yallock

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: In progress – on track

Progress: Station refurbishment commenced at the end of May 2023.

7. Morrisons

Delivery Agency: CFA

Status: On hold

Progress: The project’s transition to CSBA is pending on the confirmation of the brigade’s decision to retain and refurbish existing station.

8. The Basin

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: The cultural heritage process, s52.30 consultation, station design and planning permission application are in progress.

9. Golden Square

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Construction commenced June 2023 with an April 2024 completion date.

10. Pyalong

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Planning permit issued May 2023. CSBA is preparing tender documentation.

11. Dartmoor

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Issues identified with the site due to Crown land. Alternative land options being investigated.

12. Winnindoo

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Station design and planning permission application are in progress.

13. Hoddles Creek

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Station design and planning permission application are in progress.

14. Leitchville

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Station design and planning permission application are in progress.

15. St Leonards

Delivery Agency: CSBA

Status: In progress –Delays

Progress: Construction completed by 3 August 2023.

2. Integrated Fire Services Infrastructure Delivery Arrangements

As part of the newly implemented integrated fire services infrastructure delivery arrangements by the Victorian Government, the Minister requested CFA to transition the delivery responsibility for
20 identified major capital projects to the CSBA in August 2022. As at 30 June 2023, 19 of the 20 identified infrastructure projects have been fully transitioned to CSBA. Nine of these 19 projects (eight of the 15 station replacements (Table 10), and the Clyde Volunteer Station construction) are included in action 3.2. CFA is responsible for delivering the remaining seven station replacements under the 15 Station Replacement Program.

CFA and CSBA signed an MOU to transition the delivery of the required capital projects from CFA to CSBA in October 2022. Based on the evidence reviewed, under the integrated delivery arrangements, CFA and FRV will maintain appropriate oversight of projects transitioned, including retaining accountability to approve design decisions, key project document management, consultation with key stakeholders and construction interfaces to ensure the projects meet their respective operational requirements.

As part of consolidating the delivery of fire services infrastructure under CSBA, DJCS and CSBA wrote to VFBV in February 2023, advising of the government’s decision to transition CFA capital delivery programs to CSBA.

Before the transition, CSBA undertook a due diligence review, with assistance from CFA, which has provided the government with a robust understanding of the current status and the challenges impacting the delivery of these infrastructure projects, including land acquisition, planning, construction and supply chain issues.

CSBA’s role in delivering these projects is consistent with the Fire Services Statement’s intent to bring together project management and procurement expertise to better support the connectedness of fire services agencies and other emergency services. The new integrated delivery model aims to:

  • streamline construction delivery and project management for the construction of critical fire service facilities
  • enable a consistent approach to cost planning and allow for more efficient procurement and cost-effective sourcing of materials and labour
  • allow CFA and FRV to focus on their core functions to ensure public safety and deliver essential fire services such as emergency response, training, and community engagement
  • enhance the government oversight of the existing and future critical fire services infrastructure investment.

3. Tanker Replacement (50 Firefighting appliances)

The Tanker Replacement project aims to address issues around the age of CFA’s tanker fleet and replace them with vehicles (heavy tankers) designed for improved firefighter safety and useability.

CFA reported that tankers had undergone a rigorous specification development and design process before manufacture and defects inspection process to ensure they are consistent with the agreed specifications. 48 Heavy Tankers commenced manufacture by a local manufacturer in September 2021.

Findings

FSIM finds action 3.2 is progressing, noting CSBA has identified challenges across the station replacement projects, such as land acquisition, planning, construction and supply chain issues, which have delayed the completion of these critical fire services facilities.

Updated