CODE 2, VOL 33, NO 23 : 27 november 2019

Central Region ‘Cultural Refresh’ a total failure

You may recall that your union forced QFES to arrange an external investigation into bullying and other behaviours in the Central Region.  After years of QFES ignoring the problems (or worse, regularly stating that no one was reporting any problems so there were no problems) an external investigation resulted in significant changes in the region.

The UFUQ has in recent years forced QFES into funding external investigations into these behaviours in the NCR, the NR and the CR, with results from each that support what your union was saying (that behaviours were unacceptable).

The outcomes of the CR investigation include terminations and other discipline outcomes against various employees and I want to be clear that I am not commenting on any of those in any way.  However, another outcome of the CR investigation was a disastrous decision by those in charge to force a ‘cultural refresh’ onto your colleagues at station level in the region.

That ‘cultural refresh’ process has been a total failure, at best a waste of time and money, and at worst it has further damaged relationships.  This position is supported by a damning survey of your colleagues being forced to participate in this process.

The culture at fire station level was the only thing working well in the region (as is the case across the state at every fire station) and yet, it has unfortunately become the focus of QFES as something that needs to change (because they are not prepared to tackle the real cultural problems in QFES). You are well aware that station culture is our biggest strength, and is something those who do not work at fire stations will never, ever understand.

I will report to you again on the unfortunate victim blaming that is currently going on in the region, after I again meet with senior QFES management to work to correct the ‘cultural refresh’.

John Oliver - General Secretary



Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD