COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY

CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

 

Adopted Minutes

Thursday, 8th
December, 2011

 

PRESENT

Ian Thomas
Community
Rep./Committee

Jessamy
Nicholas
:
EPA Victoria

Michael
Isaachsen
Community
Rep./Committee

Peter La Rose
Operations Manager,
Terminals Pty Ltd

Faye Simpson
Community
Rep./Committee

Craig Lapsley
Fire Services
Commissioner

Bro
Sheffield-Brotherton
Community
Rep./Committee

Susan
Chatterton
Minute Taker

Deborah Macfarlane
Community
Rep./Committee

Robin
Saunders
:
Chair

Theo Pykoulas
City of Maribyrnong

 

 

 

ITEM 1.       WELCOME BY THE CHAIR,
APOLOGIES & CONFIRMATION OF DRAFT AGENDA

Robin
        Apologies:   Carlo Fasolino

                    Draft
Agenda confirmed

ITEM 2.       PRESENTATION – CRAIG
LAPSLEY, FIRE SERVICES COMMISSIONER

Craig          The
bushfires in 2009 were fundamental in changing the way fire services establish
priorities.  The need for someone to bring together the three fire fighting
agencies (MMFB, DSE and CFA) was recognised in Recommendation 63 of the 2009
Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission..

                    Craig
handed around a one page information leaflet – “A renewed focus on
primacy of life
”, which focused on issuing of timely, relevant and tailored
emergency warnings to people along with the traditional focus on protecting
life and property through fire fighting.

                    The
new legislation talks about:-

1.    Reform program: a 3 year rolling program of renewal

2.    Set of standards for Fire Services to establish consistency across
DSE, CFA and MFB. (Craig noted that this was a problem area for other states
too).

3.    The Fire Services Commissioner has operational control of all major
fires – he can determine what is major (significant impact on the
community and of long duration  i.e. greater than one day)

4.    Information to community and issuing warnings

5.    Training and accreditation for executives of the three services.

                    Strategic
Control priorities shall form the basis of the Incident Strategy and Incident
Action Planning processes.

                    Strategic Control priorities were issued
by the Fire Services Commissioner to all emergency Incident Controllers in all
Victoria’s fire and emergency services, providing direction in the management
of fires, floods and other incidents. They are:

1.    Protection and preservation of life is paramount

2.    Issuing of community information and community warnings –
extends to pre-emergency preparation

3.    Protection of critical infrastructure and community assets

4.    Protection of residential property

5.    Protection of assets supporting individual livelihoods and economic
production

6.    Protection of environmental and conservation assets

                    Craig
distributed an A3 information guide titled “Your Bushfire Survival

§ 
What to do:-

                                                                            
i.    
Leave early – always the safest option

                                                                          
ii.    
Be well prepared – your safety is not guaranteed

                                                                         
iii.    
Last resort – High risk of trauma, injury or death

                    For
more information visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au
or call the Victorian bushfire Information line 1800 240 667.

                    Craig
stated that Incident Controllers need to manage the fire and the community at
the same time, which will require some culture change, and the increased use of
iphones, social media, twitter and faebook.

                    Silos
between Telcos are still a little in evidence. There are different radio
systems in Melbourne (UHF) and the country (VHF), and problems with integration
exist. We’ve still got old technology – we have the best radios but not IP
(Internet Protocol). We need to interface with IP technology for voice over the
internet. Craig quoted an example of a lady in the community who, during a fire
emergency, was better informed than the fire-fighters.

Deborah    Questioned
whether the emergency services had a bias towards middle-aged men?

Craig          Responded
in a general way, with reference later in the session to the need for cultural
change. He discussed the challenges of the 7 Feb 2009 fires and the floods of
seven rivers this year. We’re not good at managing the very big emergency.

Ian              Questioned
whether we had enough helicopters?

Craig          We
currently have 41 aircraft and 24 helicopters. Last year we had 4 big
helicopters, two big Russian helicopters, 8 medium sized and 12 light
helicopters..  None of these machines are owned.  These machines are specialist
machines and companies move them globally around the world to keep them
occupied.  We have a strong commercial arrangement with 3rd parties
in relation to fire break clearing equipment.

                    For
building regulations on private bunkers go to Google Wildfire and you will find
a product that has been fully tested by the CSIRO.  It is an underground
bunker, totally certified, and has been developed and marketed by Anthony Tratt..

                    Note from
Chair: the following web site is relevant

                     http://www.wildfiresafetybunkers.com.au/contact.aspx

 

 Ian             Ian also raised the
issue of whether there should be control of where we live, to prevent people
living in areas where the fire risk is too high.

Craig          Distributed
copies of Annual Report 2010 -11

Peter          Has
there been any success with greater ground clearing to prevent fires?

Craig          The
10/30 rule (which applies within areas covered by the Bushfire Management
Overlay in Victoria’s planning schemes – country Victoria and some Metropolitan
areas) has been extended recently to 10/50. That means within 10 metres of a
home, all vegetation may be cleared without a permit, while all vegetation
except trees may be cleared within 50 metres.

                    There
has also been a better view within planning of the need for owners to take
responsibility if they are building in the bush.

                    The
1958 Acts governing the CFA and the MMFB need to be rewritten to better
integrate the organisations. Organisational improvement is needed to address
the hierarchical structure, and to build capability and capacity. The
corporatisation of farming has had severe impact on the manpower available for
fire fighting.

Faye           Asked
about the harnessing of people who do have experience in managing big
emergencies.

Craig          Agreed
this was necessary, and gave an example of how it was happening in the
management of large floods.

                    Concerning
the need for cultural change, Emergency Services can be arrogant. The main
areas for action lie within leadership, empowering communities, accountability
and integration.

                    Collaboration
in Wye River between the Life Saving Club and the CFA has demonstrated the
benefits for each organisation in having a broader view.

Robin         Thanked
Craig for coming and sharing his thoughts: it has been fascinating listening to
what you had to tell us.

ITEM 3.       CONFIRM DRAFT MINUTES FOR
THE MEETING 8 SEPTEMBER 2011 AND REVIEW ACTION ITEM LIST

Draft
Minutes – Adopted.

Action
Item 03/211-5  

Done.

ITEM 4.       REPORTS FROM AGENCIES AND
TERMINALS

 

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
AUTHORITY

 

Jessamy has taken over from
Kerry

1.
    distributed Activity Report

2.
    distributed – 5 Year Plan 2011 -2016

3.
    consultation on Victoria’s vehicle emissions review

4.
    final Noise from Industry in Regional Victoria
guidelines released

5.
    24 hour pollution hot line – 1330 EPA Vic (1300
372 842) commenced on 1 July 2011.

 

Robin thanked
Jessamy and asked that she email the EPA Activity Report to him prior to
meetings.

 

TERMINALS PTY LTD

 

  • New MHF licence workshops
  • New computer-based product distribution System
    – went to America to source.
  • Incidents

 

MARIBYRNONG CITY
COUNCIL

 

Nothing to report.

 

ITEM 5.       OTHER BUSINESS

 

Reducing Meeting frequency and the possibility of having some meetings
on site.

 

Peter          We would like to reduce the meeting frequency from 4 per
year to 3 and have 1 meeting on site so we can actually look at the site at the
same time.

Robin         Geelong meetings happen at 3pm which is very
convenient.

Ian              I am not open to earlier time, the time we meet is
good and duration.  Strongly object to reducing meetings.  Like to see us
continue at 4 meetings per year.

Bro              My observation that once you fall below quarterly
they loose their dynamic.

 

Agreed to keep 4 meetings per year.

 

Robin         I have already notified people of dates for next
year.  We will re visit towards end of next year.  One of those 4 meetings will
be held at the site.

 

Agreed to hold a meeting on site.

 

Peter          We have more resources to attend meetings if held
earlier.

Robin         Asked committee regarding availability on Wednesday. 

 

Agreed to move one meeting to Wednesday at 3pm.

 

Deborah    Thanked Robin for another excellent year.

 

MEETING DATES FOR NEXT YEAR 2012 (re-jigged
by the Chair after the meeting)

Wednesday 29 Feb (3:00pm), Thursday 31 May, Thursday 30 August and Wednesday
28 November 2012. The Wednesday meetings will be at the Terminals site office
at Mackenzie Road, Coode Island.

 

MEETING CLOSED  – 8:30pm

 

NEXT MEETING          Wednesday   29 February, 2012 at 3:00 pm, at
Terminals site office, Mackenzie Road, Coode Island