RECAP: NFIA SA Members Meeting

SA Visit & Members' Meeting

On the 12th and 13th of July 2022, Graeme Geldart, NFIA Corporate Team Leader – NSW, visited Adelaide to meet with South Australian Members and to facilitate the SA Members’ Meeting.

Graeme took the opportunity to meet with a number of Members and make contact with some prospective Members, prior to assisting in convening the first face-to-face post-COVID SA Members’ Meeting, hosted by Shayne Bennett.

Members were provided with an update on the operations and activities of the NFIA, the new NFIA website, new NFIA resources, and recent NFIA Submissions. Lucas Blyth, CEO of Fire Industry Training (FiT), provided an update on FiT activites including the Cert II roll-out, new entrants, distance learning capabilities, tutorials and e-learning. David Parish, of NFIA Premier Partners, Victaulic, then gave a presentation and Q&A on Victaulic’s Fire Lock Systems.

John Callea, Manager of Professional & Advisory Services – Government Services Division of the Department of Industry and Training (DIT), provided a presentation on procurement levels for Government projects, the tender and delivery processes, becoming a pre-qualified sub-contractor, the tier system for construction contracts, and ‘importance levels’. An interactive Q&A session was then held, with Shayne Bennett and John Callea addressing the recent developments regarding ‘rise and fall’ in Government contracts, and the Government’s acceptance of proposals advocated by the Specialist Contractors Association. These significant changes are addressed further in this Update (below).

Members also discussed whether there was a need for dry fire licensing in South Australia, and what this might look like. The NFIA will continue to consult with Members on this issue, and Members are always invited to contact the NFIA to put their views forward. Moving forward, the NFIA will look towards surveying Members to obtain views, so that it can advocate effectively for its Members. In later discussions, it was also mentioned that FiT could contribute to this process in terms of what training could be made available for SA if dry fire licences (with underpinning minimum qualifications) were introduced.

Members were also asked to consider and advise on the types of events they may wish the NFIA to arrange in the future, such as social events (e.g. Golf Days, dinners/lunches), technical presentations, and interactive specialist or Government presentations and Q&As.

On the issue of the Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and Telstra entering into an agreement whereby Telstra would supply, install and maintain Alarm Signalling Equipment (ASE) and associated dual mobile network connection to the MFS (‘Monitored Fire Alarm Service’ – MFAS), it was noted that this had not progressed. Members had followed Telstra’s pre-requirements but have heard no further. The NFIA will follow up and seek advice on progress and delays.

On the matter of training, it was noted that there’s currently no facility for regional areas to obtain much-needed training, and that internet access (for online training) could also be difficult. The NFIA will raise this issue with FiT and report-back.

In further discussions, Members were encouraged to diligently review subcontractor quotes put to them to ensure that they have quoted to the standards.

The next SA Members’ Meeting is scheduled to be held on 28 October 2022.