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CFS Volunteers Association president Roger Flavell, Lenswood, with volunteer
protesters at Parliament House in late January.
Trucks and four-wheel drives lined up along North Terrace during the protest.
CFS fires up over
By ELIZABETH ANDERSON
VOLUNTEER firefighters are
preparing to hose down plans
for reform to the emergency
In late January, up to 500 Country
Fire Service volunteers, along with
dozens of State Emergency Service
workers, gathered on the steps of
Parliament House in Adelaide to
protest the lack of detail in the
CFS Volunteers Association
executive director Sonia St Albans
said the reform was short on detail,
leaving them nervous about what
"We're asking the government to
hold off on the reform on the basis
they haven't produced a business
plan or a justification," she said.
"We've always said we wouldn't
accept change for the sake of
The reforms, announced one week
before Christmas by Emergency
Services Minister Tony Piccolo,
would see the Metropolitan Fire
Service, the SES and the CFS merge
under a single commissioner.
The three organisations now oper-
ate separately alongside the South
Australian Fire and Emergency
Services Commission that acts as a
Salisbury Heights group officer
and CFSVA Rob Styling said volun-
teers were nervous about accepting
reform with no detail.
"We want to see the benefits,
either with costs or operationally,"
"The whole process is flawed;
there is no business case and no
Mr Styling said the association
had worked with Mr Piccolo for
six months during the consultation
process but despite that, did not
have a strong understanding of the
"The original plan was not to touch
the services operation," he said.
"They're now talking about chang-
es at the regional level and above,
and that's not what we originally
"We want our regions to stay the
same; they very ably support us in
what we do."
He said there were also concerns
about potential changes to the cul-
ture of the three services.
"The MFS, SES and CFS -- we
have similar values but the culture is
different," Mr Styling said.
"We are a fully volunteer service
and we want someone in leadership
with a perspective that understands
"We expect the MFS wants a pro-
fessional leader who understands
One known change is the removal
of chief officers for the SES, MFS
and CFS by the end of June, and
the appointment of a single commis-
sioner to oversee the three groups.
Advertising has already begun for
the commissioner, despite a busi-
ness plan and scheduling still under
"We want Mr Piccolo to put a hold
on the search for a commissioner
until a plan is formulated and we
have a chance to comment on it," Ms
St Albans said.
"Volunteers were getting quite
agitated that this was moving faster
than anticipated without any justifi-
cation or basis.
"If not managed properly it could
mean the end of the CFS and the
service, protection and support
volunteers provided to SA."
Opposition minister for emer-
gency services Duncan McFetridge,
opposition leader Steven Marshall,
spokesperson Tammy Franks and
Family First MLC Rob Brokenshire
addressed the rally.
Mr Piccolo said the volunteer
association had been involved in
Reform announced in December
Planned changes 'lack detail'
Volunteers protest in Adelaide
the reform process from day one
as he travelled throughout SA and
engaged directly with the emergency
"As the CFSVA have repeat-
edly heard me say: the three current
services will retain their individual
identities on the ground," he said.
"I have taken a ground-up
approach to the reform process and
now the government has endorsed
an overarching structure.
"A business plan and work sched-
ule is being developed in consulta-
tion with a reference group made up
of emergency service stakeholders,
including the CFSVA.
"I will be continuing to meet with
people on the ground so the reforms
are implemented in a sensitive
"This is just the start of the process
and I would invite anyone who
wants to provide feedback or sug-
gestions to contact the Emergency
Services Reform Office."
• Details: Emergency Services Reform
Office 08 8463 6641, email email@example.com.
au or write to ESROS GPO Box 668,
Landcare Association of SA's new executive
officer Glenn Gale.
Landcare appoints executive officer
THE Landcare Association of SA announced
the appointment of a new executive officer in
December as it enters its 25th anniversary.
After a long career with the state departments
of primary industries and environment supporting
soil management, pastoral lands, native vegeta-
tion management and capacity building within
the community, Glenn Gale commenced in the
role on December 15, 2014.
Association chairman Gerry Butler said the
appointment would see them press forward with
an exciting program of reinvigorating Landcare in
SA, and bring community to the centre of natural
The appointment was made possible with
funding from the Australian government through
the National Landcare Programme.
All peak state and territory Landcare bodies
and the National Landcare Network have
benefited from this funding, which will enable
community capacity building to be enhanced
at the 'simple, local and long-term' level as
advocated by Federal Environment Minister Greg
"Having Glenn on board will enable us to fast
track the development of our ambitious plan
to bring community to the centre of natural
resource management via the development of
regional Landcare networks across SA and the
implementation of the State Community Landcare
Plan," Mr Butler said.
Mr Gale will be based at the office of the
Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning
Association in Strathalbyn, but will travel to all
regions of the state and interact with the many
community sectors, regional Landcare facilitators
and the regional NRM Boards.
Practical guide to rural land
Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin are offering land managers
and interested family members the opportunity to undertake a six-week course to help
make better management decisions for their properties.
Venue: Mount Barker Natural Resources Office, Upper Level, Cnr Mann and Walker
Streets, Mount Barker SA 5251
Date: Thursday evenings, commencing 5 March 2015 plus a farm walk on
11 April 2015.
Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Cost: $100 per property (due 5 March 2015)
RSVP: 21 February 2015 -- Places are limited
To RSVP or for further information please contact: Kym Haebich, Acting Team Leader
Land Management, mobile: 0408 811 392, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is supported by the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, through
funding from the Australian Government.
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