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Frontrunner emerges in race to run new Victorian fire agency

Country Fire Authority deputy chief Stephanie Rotarangi has emerged as a frontrunner in the race to head up Victoria’s new fire agency.

As part of new fire reforms passed by the Andrews Government, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) will become a volunteer-led firefighting service.

Career firefighters from the CFA and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) will come together to form Fire Rescue Victoria.

The new body will run all firefighting operations in major regional cities and Melbourne.

Following the controversial merger, MFB chief Dan Stephens resigned on Friday after just one year in the top job, having being earlier head-hunted from the United Kingdom to fill the role.

But after a tumultuous period for Victoria’s firefighters, Neil said Ms Rotarangi was “almost over the line” to run the new body.

“Stephanie Rotarangi, deputy CFA chief, is 99 per cent of the way there to be named to be named commissioner for Fire Rescue Victoria,” he said on 3AW.

“Her name has been floated before but I’m now told that she’s almost over the line.

“I can’t confirm it and I’m not 100 per cent sure but that’s what I’m told – she’s almost over the line as head of Fire Rescue Victoria.

“When you get people of experience and reputation from overseas to come in to this system and they say ‘you’ve got problems here’ and they don’t last.

“It’s time we started listening.”

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