Progress of Action 3.3

Action 3.3: Finalise the transfer of property, assets, liabilities, rights and obligations from CFA to FRV.

Action objective: The successful transfer of property, assets, liabilities, rights and obligations from CFA to FRV to support the delivery of reform.

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 2022December 2024In progress – minor delays

Context

The action requires CFA, working with DJCS and FRV, to execute the Fire Services Reform Transfer Strategy (the Transfer Strategy) to transfer certain property, rights, liabilities, and obligations from CFA to FRV.

The Transfer Strategy, endorsed by the Fire Services Reform Corporate Sub-Committee in November 2020, was separated into five tranches and implemented through allocation statements, transfer statements, and agreements.

Progress summary

In FY 2022-23, the Minister approved CFA’s change request to extend the due date for this action to December 2024, recognising the ongoing activity to complete the transfer process.

CFA, DJCS and FRV collaborated to complete transfers associated with Tranches One, Two and Three of the Transfer Strategy in FY 2020-21. In consultation with DJCS and FRV, CFA continued to progress work to finalise the remaining allocation statement.

In addition, and while not a component of the Transfer Strategy, CFA, DJCS and FRV continued to consider appropriate pathways to ensure the contingent liabilities or obligations of CFA relating to employees transferred to FRV under s103 of the FRV Act to be allocated from CFA to FRV (related to Tranche Five).

1. Tranche One

Tranche One transferred 37 co-located stations, associated appliances, and the financial arrangements for the transferred assets from CFA to FRV. Tranche One was completed in June 2021.

2. Tranche Two

Tranche Two completed the transfer of all employee liabilities (annual leave, long service leave and Operational Performance Improvement Initiatives claims) related to CFA employees transferred to FRV. This Tranche Two also transferred cash associated with employee liabilities and the 350 Firefighter Program (P350) from CFA to FRV. Tranche Two was completed in June 2021.

3. Tranche Three

Tranche Three completed the transfer of P350 in-flight capital projects from CFA to FRV, including a replacement station at Bendigo, a co-located station at Craigieburn and three Breathing Apparatus (BA) Vans from Frankston, Corio, and Ballarat stations. Tranche Three was completed in June 2021.

4. Tranche Four

Tranche Four is focused on transferring of equipment at the 37 stations (33 are co-located stations and four are career-only stations) and the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre at Craigieburn from CFA to FRV.

To progress work on Tranche Four, CFA, FRV and DJCS agreed in May 2022 to split the tranche into two parts:

5. Tranche Five

Tranche Five involves the transfer of contingent liabilities or obligations of CFA related to employees transferred to FRV under s102 of the FRV Act.

FSIM received evidence demonstrating that the transfer of, rights, obligations and liabilities, including contingent liabilities associated with s102 of the FRV Act, was completed in March 2022.

In completing Tranche Five, CFA, DJCS and FRV identified no provisions within the FRV Act to transfer the rights, obligations and liabilities, including contingent liabilities associated with s103 employees transferred from CFA to FRV. DJCS was leading work to identify an alternative pathway to resolve this matter including the preparation of a formal agreement and an amendment to the FRV Act.

At the end of the reporting period, DJCS was considering the most appropriate way forward to enable the transfer of contingent liabilities and obligations relating to s103 transferred employees to be allocated.

Findings

FSIM finds action 3.3 is progressing.



Footnotes

[18] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2021, Annual Report 2020/21 Year One: Setting the foundations, Victorian Government, viewed 15 August 2023, <https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2020-21>

[19] Each of the 33 co-located stations has its own schedule which forms part of the overarching Tenancy Agreement. These schedules and the overarching agreement determine how volunteers use and access facilities at co-located stations.

Updated