Progress of Action 3.4

Action 3.4: FRV, in consultation with CFA, deliver agreed capital works to enable and enhance service delivery by co-located brigades.

Action objective: Capital works enable and enhance service delivery by co-located brigades ensuring access and availability to station facilities and amenities is maintained.

Lead agency: FRV

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 – minor delays

Context

This action requires FRV, in consultation with CFA, to deliver agreed capital works to enable and enhance service delivery by co-located brigades.

As part of Fire Services Reform, CFA transitioned the delivery of in-flight projects and responsibility for the 350 Firefighter Program – Capital Sub-Program (P350 Sub-Program)[20] to FRV, transferring nine co-located station build and modification projects to FRV as part of this action. In addition, CFA led the construction of three new stations and a tanker replacement program, which following completion, were transferred to FRV as at 30 June 2023. Details outlining this additional program of work are in action 3.5.

Progress summary

FRV established a project plan following the transition of the P350 Sub-Program from CFA in 2021 and undertook an internal review of projects transferred. The project plan outlines the proposed scope based on FRV specifications and forecast completion for the nine-station projects transferred to FRV.

As at 30 June 2023, FSIM understands that DJCS was working in consultation with CFA and FRV to prepare options to progress station builds/modifications in this action that are currently on hold.

Table 11 outlines the status of nine co-located station builds as per the FRV P350 Project Status Report as at 30 June 2023.

Table 11: FRV co-located station builds, modifications and progress[21]

Co-located fire station and status
Progress as at 30 June 2023

1. Frankston (FS91)

Status: In progress – minor delays

Progress: FRV ELT supported redevelopment at the current site.

Work underway on station concept design with application for planning permit to follow.

2. Bendigo Permanent (FS73)

Status: On hold

Progress: Project on hold as FRV works through the consultation process.

3. Latrobe/Moe (FS74)

Status: In progress – minor delays

Progress: Application for subdivision submitted.

4. Corio (FS62)

Status: In progress – on track

Progress: FRV were considering whether a relocation and rebuild for Corio was required, given the location of a new station at Lara.

5. Lara (FS61)

Status: In progress – on track

Progress: Commenced architect drawings.

6. Mornington (FS94)

Status: In progress – minor delays

Progress: Completed environmental land classification and Division 6 HAZMAT identification process. Commencing Stage 2 works – extension to Turnout room and shower construction.

7. Boronia (FS85)

Status: In progress – on track

Progress: Commenced Stage 1 works including new portal, dormitory and storeroom extension.

Commencing Stage 2 works including upgrades to the Turnout room, lounge, mess, administration and gym areas.

8. Ballarat City (FS67)

Status: On hold

Progress: The original scope was for a refurbishment of the station. Further planning is being undertaken to consider alternative sites. Configuration scope of works are on hold.

9. Springvale (FS89)

Status: In progress – on track

Progress: Site secured; land parcel is under lease. Consultation and planning will commence to coincide with end of lease.

1. Integrated Fire Services Infrastructure Delivery Arrangements

As FSIM’s Annual Report 2021/22 outlined, the Victorian Government implemented new integrated fire services infrastructure delivery arrangements (action 3.2).[22]

Under the new integrated fire services infrastructure delivery arrangements, the Minster requested that FRV transition 17 station build and modification projects to CSBA in August 2022. Of these 17 projects, nine station build and modification projects are in action 3.4.

At the end of the reporting period, an MOU confirming arrangements had not yet been signed, and project delivery responsibilities remained with FRV.

Under this arrangement, FSIM understands that CSBA is responsible for the delivery of approved infrastructure projects on behalf of FRV. FRV will remain responsible for identifying suitable locations for future infrastructure needs (including fire stations) and confirming its operational and design requirements per the Infrastructure Agreement obligations under the FRV Operational EA. Post-transition, CSBA will assist FRV to identify and secure suitable land parcels that meet FRV’s specified requirements and will engage consultants and contractors to deliver the facilities in accordance with FRV’s requirements.

CSBA established an Infrastructure Delivery Framework that details the standard approach to infrastructure delivery used by CSBA to manage major capital works projects on behalf of DJCS Groups and portfolio agencies, including CFA and FRV. In March 2022, CSBA undertook a due diligence review, with assistance from FRV, which has provided the government with a robust understanding of the challenges impacting the delivery of FRV infrastructure projects.

2. Engagement activities

Given that the nine station builds and modifications included in action 3.4 are co-located stations, FRV needed to consult on the stations’ concept, design and location with CFA, UFU and VFBV.

3. Forecast costs pressures of projects transitioned to FRV from CFA

Following the transition of co-located station build projects from CFA to FRV, FRV undertook an internal review to reconfirm the scope and requirements of nine co-located station build projects to ensure alignment with FRV specifications and responsibilities. The review highlighted that the nine projects would not be completed until June 2026 due to significant delivery challenges, including land acquisition and ensuring that planning and design requirements meet FRV standard station design, FRV and CFA service delivery needs, and volunteer requirements.

Furthermore, FRV identified cost pressures and options to deliver the scope of works and to mitigate project delivery challenges for the nine co-located station projects included in action 3.4. Challenges include changes in scope for co-located station projects transferred to meet FRV’s standard station design, operationalisation requirements, and escalating construction costs and land prices.

Findings

FSIM finds action 3.4 is progressing, noting there is a requirement for CFA and FRV to establish acceptance criteria or measures that will allow agencies to demonstrate that they have met the objective of the action, which is to “enable and enhance service delivery by co-located brigades ensuring access and availability to sustain facilities and amenities is maintained”.

FSIM observes significant delivery challenges across the co-located station build projects,delaying the completion of critical fire services facilities. These challenges include land acquisition, construction and supply chain issues, planning, and transition of project management responsibility to the integrated fire services infrastructure delivery model.



Footnotes

[20] The 350 firefighter Program – Capital Sub-Program (P350 Sub-program) is the Victorian Government commitment in 2015 to deliver 450 new career firefighters for Victoria, 350 of them with CFA.

[21] As noted, these co-located station builds remain with FRV for delivery until such time as the integrated fire service infrastructure delivery arrangements are agreed

[22] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2023, Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021/22, Victorian Government, viewed 8 August 2023, <https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2021-22>, pg. 87.

Updated