MFB chief executive Graham Fountain resigns-But who paid?

So we have another executive resigning over allegations of sexual harassment and it all gets hushed up. The woman has obviously got a payout and what ? Is that the end of the matter is it. Who paid the payout, where did the money come from.Taxpayers again? All this crap with respecting privacy is a smokescreen for accountability. WE do not need the gory details but any payments etc need to be made transparent who, why and when.

He was only there a few months, normal Aussies are working their guts out all year to earn a wage. Did this bloke get a nice payout for doing next to nothing (well we do know he did something) I imagine he will get some other high paying power job in the near future from one of his mates, with a slap on the back and a big welcome back…It is a joke


Graham Fountain resigns, secret settlement, who paid what?

METROPOLITAN Fire Brigade chief executive Graham Fountain has stepped down from the job after just seven months over allegations made by a former employee.

In a statement released this afternoon, the MFB said Mr Fountain tendered his resignation this morning, which was accepted by the MFB Board President and former police commissioner Neil Comrie.

‘’As soon as the Board became aware of the allegations, swift and decisive action was taken to investigate the matter,’’ the statement read.

‘’This matter has now been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant and in accordance with the complainant’s request for confidentiality no further details of this matter will be released.

‘’As both parties to this situation have requested their privacy be respected, no further statement will be made by MFB.’’

Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan said he had been briefed about the allegations.

“There has been no formal allegation or complaint lodged by the lady who was the subject of that workplace harassment,” he said.

“A  settlement has been negotiated with that lady between herself and the board of the MFB.

“At her request, the terms of that remain confidential simply because she does not wish to be identified with regard to these most unfortunate events.”

Mr Ryan said he had made it clear to the MFB that workplace harassment was not acceptable.

“The solution that has been reached today (and) the settlement that has been negotiated is appropriate in those circumstances,” he said.

Mr Fountain has only been in the job since April after he was unanimously appointed in February.

He spent 20 years at the CFA and rose to become the Deputy Chief Officer of the CFA.

Most recently, he was the CEO of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.

Deputy Chief Officer Shane Wright will act in the role of CEO on an interim basis


56 thoughts on “MFB chief executive Graham Fountain resigns-But who paid?

  1. Pingback: Mr Fountain must step down from all roles in cams. - Brindabella Motor Sport Club - Australian Rallying Forums

  2. Not that I am expecting answers from any one that matters but it is still all too convenient to hide behind privacy rubbish. She got paid, how much and by who, and what did he get when he resigned?


  3. How was it that he was the boss of the MFB and had another paying job on the side in Motorsport? How was he to do what the tax payers were paying him for and also do his side job at Coffs Haroubr? Doesn’t sound like the tax payers were getting value for money now does it…….


  4. So Robo you know all the facts do you???
    Amazing how there are always people who speculate and don’t know the truth. You should keep your opinions to yourself instead of speading crap when the facts are very different to the rubbish you have published. Google


    • Well about as much as you John seeing you offered nothing.Tell me something that is not fact? A mate are you trolling the net sticking up for a buddy??? I know enough about the private settlement to know i’m right on track…


  5. Hi Robbo,
    I work for the MFB as a firey. The MFB is 87.5% funded by insurance companies and 12.5% by the state government.
    I don’t know if this payout is funded from the same coffers or in the same manner, but thought you’d appreciate this info.
    Also, from what I’ve heard, it seems Fountain may have been scapegoated here.
    1 Lifer.


  6. Hmmm….. talk to other women who have worked ‘under’ this guy and a pattern emerges pretty quickly.

    Very unlikely he was scapegoated!!!

    More likely that he’s finally tackled someone that stood up to him.


    • Only going on what I heard. Allegedly a consensual relationship until the pair had a falling out. Then the woman involved claimed harassment.
      Only what I heard, can’t confirm or deny.


      • M

        The guy’s got a long, long history and has left a trail of people that have had no-one to complain to and no will to confront the situation. That’s the ugliest side of this kind of case. Of course, details can never be discussed in public, which is why these scum get away with it for so long!!

        He’s quite charasmatic. People like that wrap boards around their fingers, but with employees it’s a different thing. When you work in a small org with that kind of CEO, if you’re not one of his gushing fans, you forfeit your job. These people are bullies and manipulators, and some of them get away for it for their whole career.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robbo,
      Don’t have an answer for that mate. Happy to let you know what I hear when I hear it. But it’s most likely to be rumour/innuendo. So make of it what you will.


  7. O’s comments are spot on. Since Graham Fountain got appointed to the MFB he quickly made his mark by treating people in uniform with absolute adoration ( that explains M’s Comments of possible scapegoating) in contrast with corporate staff who got treated like crap. Many corporate staff left as a result of his treatment. He was blatantly dismissive, unappreciative of the corporate staff’s work and contribution to the organisation. He was very arrogant and thought he was untouchable. The only thing I don’t agree with O’s comments was his reference to Graham as charismatic…. I did not find charismatic at all. I found him off-putting, cold, lacked empathy, dispassionate and self-centred.


    • The charisma was an assumption on my part, based on the undoubted fact that this guy has one the trust and confidence of very senior board members despite a lack of real acheivement and a reputation amongst staff of being a manipulative bully.

      It constantly amazes me how oblivious board members can be to what is really happening in organizations they are supposed to control.


    • Dear Doreen, I’m assuming you work for the MFB hence this reply. If it wasn’t for the uniform staff you wouldn’t have a job. It’s not about you and us it’s about the MFB. Wake up to your self, if you don’t like the surroundings, leave.

      “Fed up with wingers”


      • If it was not for the corporate staff you would not be able to do your job as a firie. This culture of corporate versus uniform staff at the MFB is sickening and is at the core of what is wrong with the MFB as an organisation. Whether a staff wears a uniform or not should not matter. Every staff member should be made to feel valued and welcomed and has a contribution to make and should be treated with respect. You mentioned wingers?? guess what? I found the biggest wingers at the MFB to be ones in uniform. They are never happy or satisfied or thankful with what they receive and have. they always want more and demand more. They paint themselves as heroes and seek adoration and admiration and rewards every time they actually do what they are paid to do. They are overpaid and overrated and yes when they do attend an emergency 5% of the time they happen to be working, they do a fantastic job and they are great with the community most of the time. But internally within the brigade they have contempt for corporate staff and like you they have this attitude that they are the ones that matter. They are the gods and heroes and non-uniformed workers are meant to be there to serve them and worship them. As for leaving the MFB… thank you for your suggestion. It actually confirmed to everyone on this blog my point about your attitude as a firie to a corporate staff.


  8. Actually my comments are in reference to the fact that at some stage the relationship between the two was consensual. I admit to knowing nothing of his history or his dealings with corporate staff and I never met him myself.
    I’m interested in your comments Doreen as you’ve got a more intimate knowledge of his behaviour. But don’t presume to put words in my mouth.


  9. M, how did I put words in your mouth? I used scapegoating as a word you used. I agree with you that the relationship was at some stage consensual. However, as CEO of a major organisation, he showed a serious lack of judgement. His actions as a leader are subject to intense scrutiny as he is meant to set an example and behave impeccably, not only in relation to technical matters but also most of all he needed to have people management skills, walk the talk, treat people with respect and care, listen and take counsel from subject-matter experts, show some humility especially in areas he did not fully understand but pretended to be expert in due to his arrogance … as for the young woman involved, well, she is very junior and regardless of the nature of her relationship with Graham, he remains the CEO, the one with power, and high level accountability. He should know better.


    • You insinuated that my reference to him being a scapegoat was swayed by the “adoration” he felt for uniform staff.
      It wasn’t.
      I have no personal feeling on this. I couldn’t care less who the chief is. If he behaved inappropriately, then move him on. But I do believe it should be known that the relationship was consensual at first, so the story doesn’t just read as a tyrant abusing his power.
      Though in fairness to you, you comment fairly and I pretty much concur with what you say otherwise.


  10. I now believe in Karma. This bastard, known as Little Spout, was responsible for the close of my fire fighting career.
    So what goes around DOES come around.


  11. We know Doreen to be one of those people thankfully on the outer now, that has the belief that firies are bludgers. Thank god she no longer has the capacity to embarass corporate staff


    • How does being on the outer change anything ZZZ? Usually when people leave an organization they are more dangerous and freer to speak their mind as their employment is no longer dependent on toeing the corporate line. So your comment is not logical.


  12. Allegations of sexual harassment, whether they be true or false are just one of the issues that the corporate side of the MFB have to worry about.

    I resigned not long ago, partly to do with the fact that I’d made several complaints to HR about a co-worker and their bullying, manipulative tactics only to be ignored on each and ever occaision. I not only raised my concerns with HR, but the managers of my department who also swept the blatantly obvious bad behaviour under the carpet.

    My meetings with Mr Fountain were never what I would consider comfortable, and in the short time that we were both at the MFB I never heard anything other than negative comments regarding his behaviour by female co-workers.

    The MFB needs to pay more attention to the hideous culture that is ingrained among it’s corporate staff or it will be facing several compensations claims due to workplace stress/bullying.


  13. As an MFB firefighter with over 25 years service this is a real kick in the guts. We have suffered an incompetent managment for years, thank god for the UFU who have actually been the saviour of the MFB in the management and leadership vacuum. We had hoped GF would shake-up the dead-wood in upper management, and it appeared he was doing this when this shit hit the fan!!!

    Disappointingly, one of the major reforms GF was about to initiate was to stop the rorting of the use of MFB vehicles by the Commander rank. These guys have been advised by the current acting CFO that they are clearly in breach of gov’t policy in the use of their tax payer funded cars, yet at a recent meeting the Commander group tried to bully the acting CFO into a “custom of practice” justification for their abuse of their vehicles. It’s a pity that GF has resigned as it was hoped that this would be oe of the “rorts”that would be stopped under his leadership.

    Lets ope that the acting CFO has the strength and integrity to stand up and put an end to the rorting og tax payer funded MFB vehicles by the Commander grounp.


  14. He was getting things done but I have to agree that his personal style was a bully.The office furniture deal and this thing are just the public examples. Where did the money go he ripped out of budgets used to get the job done ? His $3000 chair ?


  15. ZZZ you sound like a typical firie “on the defensive”. You resort to personalising issues rather than thinking about the matters being discussed.
    I did not read in Doreen’s email anything about firies being bludgers. In fact I heard that being mentioned a lot in the media and from other firies. I found Doreen’s insight into the MFB culture quite an eye-opener, so you might like to open your mind as well and learn something.


  16. In response to MFB LFF, I’d like to say that the UFU is good at securing excellent working conditions for its members but it has also stifled the modernisation of the fire service and stopped many innovative projects from going ahead. The UFU has far too much power and control over the MFB and has made it impossible to implement progressive changes. Many in management end up leaving because the UFU makes it impossible for them to govern. The labor government has a lot to answer for in having allowed this level of dysfunctionality to occur. They just get scared by the UFU’s threats around elections times and give them everything they ask for. The MFB’s current problems stem from years of weak and gutless government.


  17. I have to say I am enjoying this little insight from you people in the know. Sounds like a real fight over power versus what’s best for who. As I said to a previous author I will gladly highlight anything dodgy going on. I support the front line there fighting the fires(crime, ambo’s etc) and realise they are also in a constant battle with management who set their own agendas.

    But any rorting etc needs to be exposed, it would be my pleasure to do it here. Anonymity of my sources is paramount for me, as always.Keep it in mind readers. WE have got a pretty big readership going here!

    All the best for Christmas


    • Hi I’m member of family and feel for my mother we no nothing bout wat he did can u plz tell me he said gf that he didn’t harass anyone


  18. In reply to John’s comments on the UFU, I’d like to offer a few facts. I have been a MFB firefighter for 23 years, and a past UFU Official. There wouldn’t even be a MFB if it hadn’t been for the UFU, when in the 90’s KPMG was commissioned to do a study on the feasability of selling the fire service off and operating it as a private concern.

    Stifling modernisation? Well, if that means we put a stop to the underhanded dealings with the new turnout gear and pushed so hard to make the process open and transparent, then yes, we stifled it. But we’ve now got the best gear we can buy. And not before time.

    Look at the Ambos, and how their numbers have been utterly decimated. Recruits are told on their first day “We expect to get 5 years out of you, and that’s all”. So much for a career as a paramedic! All because their union is weak and largely unsupported. I mean, if you’re happy for the MFB to take 15 minutes to attend your house fire, or cut you out of your car wreck, then maybe the UFU is too militant. Or are they trying to stop the MFB and CFA from being cut to the bone at the expense of the public’s safety?


    • We have all been told we should not discuss the resignation of little spout within the MFB and further, it will not be tolerated. We have 100 years of tradition only to be impeded by progress!!!!

      Little Spout was to be our savour from the past of tyranny and evil who instilled the fear of Murphy’s Law to those who dare not obey. This turned Firies on each other in the quest to be promoted to Commander.

      At the end of the day the Firies still put rubber on the road and get the job done.


    • The UFU does a good job as it charges a lot in union fees.Tthe members fees are paid on legal expenses and political campaigning for political parties willing to make deals with the UFU. The price members pay is not just monetary but it also is about giving up your voice and individual views and opinions and adopting a herd mentality. Dare to disagree with the UFu and you will be branded as a scab for the rest of your life. You know that, I know that. We know the price dissenters pay if they dared to question a UFU decision. So, please spare me the UFU propaganda and rhetoric and heroics.. of course you need to have a union but the UFU takes its role too far.


    • Matt, you seem to regurgitate what the UFU feeds you. I am sure that the safety of the public and community are paramount to MFB management and the Board and not only to firefighters and the UFU. I think the motivating factor for the UFU is power and control first followed by more money for firefighters … there is a lot of wasted money at the MFB with over $15,000,000 in overtime spread over 1760 firefighters, that is phenomenal. There must be a middle ground somewhere between what you claim to be the Ambos situation and the excesses of the MFB.


      • “I seem to regurgitate what the UFU feeds me”. The UFU doesn’t feed me anything friend, I am not a complete dill. You seem to armed with more malice than evidence. Are you seriously trying to claim the MAS ambos aren’t in dire straits?

        The problem is John, memories are far too short, and people are too self-centred. As long as they’re alright, then nothing else matters. Trying to protect workers’ conditions for those in the future is of no importance. Now, if you want to call that heroics and rhetoric, more power to you. But you’re whistling past the graveyard.


  19. Dear Doreen “They are overpaid and overrated” you poor sole, i’m now feeling very sorry for you. You just don’t get it do you. It’s not the work that we don’t do, it’s the work that we might have to do. Next time you get a paper cut or stapple wound, think of those who enter burning buildings to save someone, or attenmd a car accident with poeple trapped or heaven forbid, attend an medical emergency for the elderly or a child. All these decisons in seconds, not over a week or two with a lunch thrown in. You are correct on one point, it’s not about us or you, it should be about how the MFB can move forward for the better of all. As for our attitude to corporate staff, never met any at station level so wouldn’t know.

    Great job, great people.


    • Dear non-corporate staff,

      It is not just firefighters who save lives, rescue people, cut them out of cars etc. Many others also save lives like nurses, doctors, paramedics and some like CFA volunteers, lifesavers, and SES do it for free. So it is time you and other firies come down a notch or two from you pedestal and do the job you are paid to do and be thankful about it. You chose this work as your career, you get paid for it very well indeed. No need to rub it in our faces … I heard this emotional blackmail and “poor me” stuff constantly during station visits. I don’t fall for it. You never met corporate staff at station level? wow.. that is quite a sheltered life you have. It explains your total lack of awareness of what corporate staff do which you denigrate with your paper cut and staple wound inane comment.


      • A very emotive pair of comments. Doreen, if you believe firefighters are “overpaid and overrated”, then that’s fair enough. I don’t agree with you. I also haven’t met you at a station visit either (40 ‘D’), but I certainly do not live a sheltered life. It just seems station visits don’t happen out west.

        Now, we both know there’s no point in comparing volunteers in other sevices with us. That’s nowhere. It’s also a waste of time. My partner is an emergency room nurse, and we don’t compare jobs. And for the record, I’m not on a pedestal, I show up, do my shift, and leave the job in the car park when I leave. But I’ll tell you this for free, if someone who doesn’t do my job tries to tell me how overrated I am, then they’re in for a verbal stoush. By the same token, I won’t denigrate your job: I don’t even know what it is you do. But I bet it’s just as important to you as my job is to me.


  20. Dear Matt,

    Obviously my comment was in response to to non-corporate worker. I met fantastic individual firefighters at the MFB. They are kind, generous, helpful, respectful, dedicated and humble. But they are a silent majority. I wish they would speak out every now and then and balance out the vocal minority who are militant, dismissive, anti-everything coming from management, disrespectful, blockers, obstructionists, and in some cases just plain malicious. And boy… don’t ever dare to criticize anything they say or do or they will come down on you like a tonne of bricks…just like you have done by threatening me with a verbal “stoush” (is that a word? could not find it in the dictionary) because I dared to express a criticism of some firefighters who do consider themselves as “God’s gift to the world” and use emotive arguments such as: “how much value do you put on human life?” as their way of valuing their job above all others… That is why I bring up the volunteers argument… they risk their lives as well… funny that you just chose to avoid comparison because basically you can’t beat that argument.
    By the way, never mind what I do at the MFB, you would not be interested to know as I don’t wear a uniform , not one of the blokes or part of the brotherhood, not a UFU member, don’t care much about cars or football or any other sports…not much to share with you mate…


    • G’Day Doreen,

      I myself have met the employees you speak of, and lets face it, every workplace has them. They would have been in vogue 40 years ago! However, I am not one; indeed, I like to think of myself as a kind and helpful etc firefighter. The ‘holier than thou’ attitude generally comes from blokes who vehemently oppose getting off the couch, and will talk loudly about the ‘fires we fought in the old days’ (the last one generally being about 30 years previous).

      Actually, I would be interested in what you do at the MFB: you work for the same mob I do!


      • Hi Matt,

        Unfortunately I have encountered this type of attitude also from recent recruits at the MFB and not just from the veteran firefighters. It seems to be a kind of attitude that they come in with or develop once on-shift. There are very strongly held misconceptions amongst firefighters that are very difficult to shift regardless of what counter information is presented to them. So it becomes impossible to implement new initiatives because they become hijacked by conspiracy theories, misinformation and union propaganda. It really is demotivating and stifling to work in such an environment… very hostile.


  21. Hi Matt,

    “The UFU doesn’t feed me anything friend, I am not a complete dill”.

    Are you sure about that? When was the last time you openly disagreed and voiced this to the UFU leadership? You don’t need to be a dill to toe the line. You just need to be afraid, intimidated and worried about the consequences of sticking your neck out.. putting your hand up and declaring your dissatisfaction with a UFU decision, or stand or approach… like other UFU members, you just blindly show loyalty to your union because they are good at delivering more money… they buy your loyalty and you give it unconditionally. You might not be even aware of whether you should agree or disagree with any of their actions, as your information is basically the propaganda they feed you..and you only get one side of the story each time, every time. Solidarity comes at a price called SILENCE and OBEDIENCE.


    • G’Day John, am I sure I am not a complete dill? Reasonably. But your use of horrific generalisations is nothing shy of criminal. “Like other UFU members, you just blindly show your loyalty because they are good at delivering more money” Come on mate, you can’t sprout stuff like that and expect it to be taken as a sensible argument. I worked as a UFU Organiser in the UFU Office for 5-6 years. This, alas, involved shouting matches, 14 hour days, abuse, near stand-up blues…the whole shebang. And that was just within ourselves. So mate, I often stand up and question or disagree with the UFU. But damn, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And that ain’t about the money.

      However, I reckon we agree to disagree John. No matter how many arguments I put up, you are going to have an equal number to counter them. I assume (very possibly incorrectly) you are not a UFU member, and respect you and your opinions.

      Best regards, Matt


      • The thing is Matt you were part of the UFU leadership and part of the machinery deployed to control the rank and file. You could afford to disagree as long as you keep matters within the inner sanctum of the UFU office. On shift ordinary firefighters do not have this freedom of expression and their out-spokeness is quickly dealt with and quashed. I don’t blame you if you cannot see the level of control the UFU has on its members and the fear vibes that circulate through the MFB station. You probably have not worked in any other organization to compare … I am committed to unionism and the union movement but the UFU is a mob and a bunch of thugs.


  22. Hi Doreen,

    Please don’t think that we WANT to work in such a hostile atmosphere. But as you have found out, opinions, attitudes, suspicions, fear and sheer anger are not easy things to reverse with a smile and a promise of better things to come.

    Please feel free to come out to 40 ‘D’ for a cuppa or give me a ring there; I am genuinely interested in having a yap with you!

    Oh, ‘stoush’ is a word my dad always used to describe an argument or a blue. Sorry about that!!

    Best regards, Matt


    • So how do I go about this Matt? How many of you at Laverton? 3?
      and what is your full name? Mathew what? I will think about a visit. I’ve been to Sunshine, St Albans , Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, and many others… not to Laverton ..


      • Hi Doreen, a quick glance at the roster will confirm all your questions. As stated before, 40 ‘D’. I don’t know how you go about it, why not just jump in a car and come out for a cuppa? I only suggested this because it’s a lot less emotive and impersonal (now there’s a paradox!) that typing messages to and fro.

        Cheers, Matt


  23. G’Day John!

    Transport Workers’ Union

    All industries I worked extensively in either before I joined the MFB, or as a 2nd job (I don’t work cas any more)

    I, too, am committed to unionism. And I’m afraid that any thuggery I have come across has very often been at the hands of the company, rather than the union.

    Cheers mate, Matt


    • Well Matt,

      True, managers can be bullies as well . No doubt about it. And bullying at the MFB occurs by management as well. This is not the only basis for my criticism of the UFU. They have assumed far too much power and as a consequence have become bullies themselves. Once you and others who vote for Peter Marshall wake up to yourselves, that all is not about how much money and control Peter Marshall secures for you, it is also about decency, fairness, respect and allowing individual expression and freedom to be expressed without fear of recrimination. I know at present no firefighter would dare to contest Marshall for UFU leadership, they would be taking huge risks indeed… Risk of backlash,isolation and intimidation from current leadership… so please stop being on the defensive and face up to some difficult but necessary truths about your union.


      • As I say John, both of us can go blue in the face and we’re not going to agree. You can state emphatically that the UFU is founded on bullying and anyone who backs them is just as bad. However, you then go on to all but demand I agree with you in your final sentence.

        A very common form of bullying in itself.


  24. You consider my language as bullying? Wow…If we were to follow your standards then the UFU actions will have to be described as terrorism…


  25. I only just found this forum while searching for something else. I smiled at the news of Graham having to leave because of another wayward relationship. He certainly had a few of those at the CFA. I personally spoke to two young girls that he came onto who then disappeared from the CFA soon after. The girls didn’t get payouts there though, they generally ‘closed’ their departments so there was no job for them anymore. Have a look at how many departments were closed or reorganised while he was there! I don’t know about now but he was also married at the time. Everybody that knows Spout knows what he’s like so the fact that he lasted in Corporate so long shows how the ‘boys club’ look after each other. Corruption up and down the line.


  26. Quick update. It would seem Graham is back on the scene in the fire services. A unconfirmed report has him recently taking the position as Captain at the Edithvale Brigade. History says there’s more to come.


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