CODE 2, VOL 36, NO 1 : 19 january 2022
I take this opportunity to welcome all members to what will be an exciting 2022 for the UFUQ and all members.
This year some significant matters will be at the forefront of your state office’s work, including;
- New legislation (both public service and fire and rescue)
- Restructure of QFES back to an operational fire and rescue focus (you can read more on that below)
I will set out more of the state office’s work in detail in the near future and I look forward to working with and for you again in 2022.
KPMG REVIEW OF QFES - UPDATE
You will recall your union sought and obtained a government commitment to reviewing QFES to determine what options were available to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. Your union provided substantial submissions to the KMPG Review.
The KPMG Review Report is in the hands of the government and remains cabinet in confidence. However, I am hoping for some significant announcements soon. Your union has set out the current failings of QFES to KPMG, and what the options are to disestablish the agency and refocus all activity within a new agency on operational fire and rescue matters.
While your union continues this work, many of you have contacted your representatives with questions about the latest shifting of the senior officer deckchairs on the QFES Titanic.
UFUQ Senior Officer members (and some non-UFUQ members amongst the Senior Officer ranks) have contacted your union to express their concerns about recent and upcoming appointments.
Unfortunately, QFES executive level management can make these very senior appointments (Executive Director, Assistant Commissioner, and Deputy Commissioner levels) without consultation or involvement of anyone but those involved. It’s a closed shop, no EOI, no advertising.
All eyes now turn to who is dropped into the critical vacant DC role. This person needs to have significant and current operational Fire and Rescue experience and must have credibility and be able to be trusted to lead you and your colleagues. Appointment of anyone without this experience and credibility destroys any confidence your union has in the Commissioner’s capacity to manage operational Fire and Rescue and to support you in your role.
Your union will continue to do all we can to maintain the focus of those in charge on operational fire and rescue matters until the restructure announcements come through and this whole mess is fixed.
These recent appointments and pending appointments perfectly highlight why a restructure must bring the focus back to operational Fire and Rescue, and the sooner the better. So, whilst these changes are an expensive frolic, the restructure is coming and many of these ‘temporary’ new appointments will certainly turn out to be just that.
As soon as I have any further information on our efforts to obtain a disestablishment of QFES and the creation of a new operationally focussed Fire and Rescue Service, I’ll report to you again.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD