2012: CFA’s year in review

Catriona Lowe provides an overview of CFA’s achievements and future plans

CFA held its Annual General Meeting by video conference on 27 November 2012. Catriona Lowe, CFA Chair, provided an overview of CFA’s achievements during the year and our plans for the future. This is an edited version of her remarks.

“The strategic planning activities undertaken by the CFA Executive Committee in March 2009 set the foundations for a three year plan, and we have just completed the final year of that plan.

This year we again pitched the case for CFA funding to government – but in the present budget environment we have continued to be unsuccessful. There is a strong case for funding, particularly considering the recommendations of the Productivity Commission, however the challenge for CFA to finding the right timing and a champion. This is a goal we will continue to pursue.

In 2012 we launched a wonderful new website and refreshed newsletter, which provides greater opportunity for members to show case their work and share information. The website continues to work extremely well and we expect it will go from strength to strength in year ahead.

The Standards Project continues to be very active with volunteer CFA representatives on over 50 Standards Australia Technical Committees. The Health Informatics committees have been progressing important issues around access to your own health information anytime you need it and from anywhere in Australia. eHealth and in particular the national program for a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records PCEHR system – eHealth Info are key parts of the current work program.

New committees have been active this year including LG-002 Road lighting; QR-015 Complaints handling; EL-059 Dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers; EN-001 Energy audits; WS-038 Water efficient showers and EV-020 Sustainability criteria for bio-energy.

One of the hardest calls for CFA remains withdrawing from the policy work that we had been able to do in the past. This is an on-going challenge for CFA, which is reliant of a committee of voluntary executives. In recognition of this difficulty as well the importance of being clear, the executive we have been hard at work on an advocacy policy which sets our when CFA will and won’t engage in advocacy, whether by member or external party request. We will publish by the end of 2012.

In the year ahead we will focus on pursuing our funding goals, the implementation of our next three year plan and the most important challenge may be what is a sustainable shape for CFA if no government funding is secured?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who contribute to the continued success and growth of CFA during the year, particularly our standards representatives, part time staff and members of the executive committee.

I look forward to working with all the members, supporters, staff and executive of CFA in the year ahead.”

You may also be interested in CFA’s perspective on the highlights and lowlights in consumer policy during 2012