Redress scheme recommended by Fiskville inquiry

Fiskville reportA dedicated redress scheme for Fiskville-affected persons is one of the key recommendations in a report by the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee.

The final report on the Inquiry into the Country Fire Authority’s Training College at Fiskville contains 31 recommendations.

They include:

  • Establishing a dedicated redress scheme for Fiskville-affected persons
  • Handing Emergency Management Victoria responsibility for overseeing compliance with occupational health and safety requirements at  CFA training facilities
  • Auditing all CFA training facilities to assess their capacities, capabilities and infrastructure needs.

Tabling the report in Parliament, Committee Chair Bronwyn Halfpenny said the report provides a forensic examination of events at Fiskville, including the unsafe training practices that allowed contamination of the site and placed the health of those present at Fiskville and its neighbours at risk. Crucially, the Committee concludes its report with a recommendation on how to provide justice to those affected by Fiskville.

“I stated early in the Inquiry that the Committee is committed to providing both the answers to what happened at Fiskville and justice to all those affected. This report does just that,” Ms Halfpenny said.

“The Committee has examined thousands of CFA documents and environmental reports, read over 450 submissions, and listened to nearly 100 witnesses, varying from scientific experts to people with first-hand experience of Fiskville. In doing so we discovered documentary evidence regarding knowledge of contamination at Fiskville that contradicted some of the evidence we heard from witnesses. The end result is that the Committee can reveal how the Victorian community has been let down by the CFA as well as the regulators empowered to oversee the CFA, such as WorkSafe and EPA Victoria.”

Ms Halfpenny added: “This has been a challenging and emotionally difficult Inquiry for the Committee and the witnesses it heard from. The Committee trusts this report and its recommendations act as a full stop to Fiskville’s past and the beginning of a safer future for firefighter training in Victoria.”

The final report is available from the Committee’s website.

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