Charging Protocol

Charges effective 1 July 2017


Travel costs are incurred by the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) Built Environment Section (BES) in conducting inspection and testing (commissioning) activities pursuant to Regulation 83(4) of the Development Regulations 2008.  

In accordance with Regulation 83(4); where a building is to be equipped with either a booster assembly or have installed a fire alarm system monitored by the MFS, and facilities for fire detection, fire fighting or the control of smoke must be installed pursuant to the building approval, then a certificate of occupancy must not be granted until a report has been sought from the fire authority as to whether those facilities have been installed and operate satisfactorily.

The BES provides the following inspection and testing services in order to fulfil its statutory obligation under Regulation 83(4):
- Fire alarm system inspection and testing (for systems monitored by the MFS);
- Hydrant system booster and flow/performance testing;
- Hot smoke testing (of smoke management systems).

The BES is also able to conduct triennial booster and hydrant system testing as required under Minister's Specification SA76 "Maintenance and testing of safety installations. Schedule of essential safety provisions."

For buildings located in the metropolitan area (e.g. Gawler to Seaford), the BES does not charge for vehicle related travel expenses, but will usually charge for the Officer's time to travel to the site.

For buildings located outside of the metropolitan area, significant travel related expenses can be incurred, for which the MFS is entitled to recover. The services provided by the BES under Regulation 83(4) are required by legislation and are therefore not optional. The BES believes that building owners and developers in regional areas should not be unfairly penalised based on their remoteness from the Adelaide metropolitan area. However, the BES considers it appropriate in certain cases to recover costs associated with travel to regional areas of South Australia when conducting these activities. This BES Charging Protocol sets out the general circumstances and conditions under which travel cost associated with activities conducted under Regulation 83(4) will be recovered, and the relevant charges. Circumstances outside of those described below may be charged a fee at the discretion of the BES.


Charging Protocol

When travel expenses will be recovered
Where a test is required under Regulation 83(4), travel expenses will be recovered for vehicle travel, flights, accommodation and meal allowances, as appropriate, as per the rates below.

Where a test is booked with sufficient advance notice such that additional activities or tests in that region can be conducted during the same trip, travel expenses will be shared between tests/activities.

Any activity taking longer than 8 hours duration, including return travel, may require overnight accommodation to manage staff Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) obligations. However, where more than one BES staff member travel together to undertake the work, then activities taking longer than 8 hours including return travel without a requirement for overnight accommodation may be an option due to BES staff sharing the driving. This will be at the discretion of the Senior Fire Safety Officer or the Commander CSRD.

Charge Rates
All charges are based on the document Determination 3.2: Employment Conditions – Remuneration – Allowances and Reimbursements (PDF 780KB) issued by the Government of South Australia, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Office of Public Employment & Review.  All charges will be reviewed against this document and updated annually.

Accommodation costs will be recovered at cost.
The MFS books accommodation in accordance with rates recommended by the State Government.  Depending on accommodation options, the cost of reasonable accommodation may on occasion be greater than the recommended Government accommodation rates.  The recommended Government accommodation rates for South Australia can be found in Appendix A. (PDF 408KB)

Flights may be booked directly by the contractor booking the services of the MFS, or can be booked by the MFS through the Government-contracted travel agency. Fees for flights booked through the Government-contracted travel agency will be charged at the rate charged to the MFS. These rates may be higher than market cost.

MFS staff will either purchase meals using a Government issued credit card, or will be issued with a travel allowance in accordance with MFS Standard Procedure form SP76A.  A copy of the relevant page with meal allowance rates is provided in Appendix B. (PDF 408KB)

Where meals are purchased using a Government issued credit card, they will be charged at cost.

Where a meal allowance has been issued, the value of the meal allowance, determined in accordance with SP76A, will be charged.  

Vehicle travel
Vehicle travel costs will be charged on a per kilometre basis for travel outside of metropolitan areas.  Vehicle travel costs will be based on set return distances for regional centres, which are detailed in Appendix C. (PDF 408KB)

Travel distances have been calculated using the most direct route (centre to centre) via major roadways, as determined using Google Maps, and minus travel within the greater Adelaide area. Travel within the greater Adelaide area has conservatively been taken as 45km in one direction (90km total for return travel).  

The MFS will not charge for vehicle travel occurring within the regional centre; only travel to and from the regional centre from the greater Adelaide area.

For hot smoke tests, the charges will also be applied for towing the hot smoke test equipment trailer.


The schedule of fees

The schedule of fees is available in the SA Government Gazette. Download the Schedule of Fees (PDF 77KB)