This year has been one of much change, but strong accomplishments. Much of the year has been dominated by the expanding issues around poor building compliance and quality in Australia, which has added energy to the reforms set rolling with the Shergold-Weir report.
In accordance with FPA Australia’s commitment to advocate for continuous improvement of policy, legislation, codes and standards, the Association has dedicated significant resources to provide input and responses to the many simultaneous reforms happening around the country in the building and construction space.
While much of this effort is out of sight for our members, it is critical work. Ensuring regulations governing fire protection are fit for purpose, practical and effective is fundamental both to the future of the fire protection industry, but also to the safety of the community.
The level of involvement FPA Australia now has in these reforms reflects the increasingly influential role the Association has. This expanded role, however, raises a new challenge. With invitations for participation open from regulators at all levels, we need to make strategic decisions about where best to invest our limited resources.
Prioritising where those resources go over the next four years is the purpose of our Strategic Directions 2019-22, discussed in this publication’s last issue. Accordingly, over the past year the Association began building the groundwork for a number of major new initiatives.
Perhaps most important among these has been the significant investment to develop and launch the new Fire Safety Assessment class of FPAS accreditation, which has been officially recognised by the NSW Government and will be gazetted in early 2020. In addition, the construction of the NSW Training Centre of the Fire Protection Training Academy heralds a new era for the Australian fire protection industry, giving us training facilities on a par with the best in the world, when doors open in early 2020.
As the fire protection industry is called upon to take a more visible and influential role, we must ensure we stay focused on our primary purpose; a safer community where loss of life, injury and damage to property and the environment are eliminated through effective fire protection.