CFA hunt is on

Top job qui­etly ad­ver­tised as re­struc­ture stalls

Herald Sun - - NEWS - MATT JOHN­STON her­ald­sun.com.au matthew.john­ston@news.com.au

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.

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