President's Report - 31 October, 2020

Posted on : Saturday, 31 October 2020

Dear members,


There's a light at the end of the tunnel, with signs that our states and territories are starting to open up.  If trends continue, hopefully everything will be returning to normal by Christmas.  


Fortunately, with fire protection deemed an essential service, most fire safety work has been able to continue. 


Now that restrictions are being eased, FPA Australia will continue to focus on its main activities:  

  • engaging with the membership and delivering better services; 

  • rolling out accreditation; 

  • running CPD events; 

  • communicating developments within the industry; and 

  • providing training for practitioners to help improve the professionalism of the sector.  

But one role not usually mentioned deserves some further consideration:  advocacy. 


FPA Australia is an industry association.  We don't just provide services to members, we represent members to government. 


Some of this is structured, such as our membership of the Australian Building Codes Board's Building Codes Committee or standards committees. 


Some is more ad hoc - discussing regulatory changes with departments, writing to Ministers about government policy, forming alliances with other associations to lobby for sensible change. 


Now that the new organisational structure of the Association is being finalised, we are looking to create more opportunities for members. 


We want to be able to use our experience with formal recognition of FPAS in NSW to get similar arrangements in place in other jurisdictions. 


We want to create academies in each state and territory. 


We want sensible policy on the use of foams, the approval of designs, or the qualifications of practitioners. 


We want to achieve more national consistency in the practice of fire protection and, in so doing, get rid of some of the red tape hampering our businesses. 


We want to be the Voice of the industry. 


A lot of policy is developed with little consideration or understanding of its impacts - FPA Australia is here to make sure that it has a seat at the table, so that you get a say on the issues. 


Stay safe! 


William (Bill) Lea, AFSM