CFA hunt is on
Top job quietly advertised as restructure stalls
THE Andrews Government has quietly started to search for a new CFA chief executive, at the same time as its fire services restructure is stalled in state parliament.
Advertisements for the highly paid position have been seen on websites of executive headhunters, but do not appear to have been widely circulated.
One of the ads calls for a “transformational leader who can work with communities and CFA members to consolidate and unite the organisation and community”.
It also says gravitas and an authentic personal style would be important.
“Excellence in organisational change and improvement, as well as experience managing multiple demands is essential,” the ad says.
Senior sources say they are surprised the role hasn’t been more widely spruiked if it was available.
There has also been some interest in the timing, given the government has so far been unable to dismantle the CFA by getting its restructure laws through parliament.
A government spokesman confirmed a replacement for interim chief executive Fran- ces Diver was “in its early stages”.
Ms Diver was hired after Lucinda Nolan quit the CFA during the EBA crisis, when Premier Daniel Andrews gave in to union demands.
Ms Nolan’s resignation was part of an exodus of experienced leaders from Victoria’s fire services. It also included the departures of CFA chief fire officer Joe Buffone, the board and former minister Jane Garrett. The CFA’s metropolitan counterpart, the MFB, said goodbye to fire chief Jim Higgins and chief officer Peter Rau.
Ms Diver faced criticism during a parliamentary hearing last year, with sacked CFA board member Michael Tudball claiming she knew nothing about fires and lacked emergency services experience. But a government spokesman congratulated Ms Diver on her performance.
“Frances Diver has done an excellent job in running the CFA during a time of change,” he said.