Certainty of reform and modernization: this year's CACFOA Annual Conference saw constitutional crisis, a glimpse of a reformed, post-dispute Service and a forceful speech by Fire Services Minister Nick Raynsford. In a year of surprises, it was almost to be expected. (Conference Report).

Following CFO Ken Knight's appointment as the new Commissioner for London (see page 41), he has decided to forego his Presidential term due to the workload his new position will incur. He emphasised that his new authority put no pressure on him to withdraw.

Under the circumstances and following constitutional scrutiny and debate, President Jeff Ord will continue for another year. Immediate Past President Richard Bull will hold that post for another term, Alan Doig will assume the role of Vice President as planned and Ken Knight will continue on the board as a Director. Conference was notified that Tom Carroll has been elected second Vice President.

With the strong possibility of CACFOA attaining ACPO-like status following the release of the White Paper, the move could set a precedent of a new term structure similar to ACPO (a three-year presidential secondment). FIRE has called for such a structure to improve consistency, stability and continuity, certainly in terms of Governmental interaction and relations between partner organisations and agencies.

When the dispute is finally settled, consensus within CACFOA will be central to driving forward reform; change the Government is keen to force. "The Fire Service is on the brink of a new era--yet we remain in the throes of an unresolved industrial dispute," began Fire Services Minister Nick Raynsford in his address, to the CACFOA annual conference on May 10. In an uncompromising, candid display, Mr Raynsford was adamant that reform would take place, "and a new and improved Fire Service will result. …

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