CFA brigades across Murray Plains are concerned about their future firefighting capabilities if the Andrews Government doesn’t act to provide funding to upgrade their stations and equipment.
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has been supporting calls from CFA brigades in Leitchville and Rochester for funds to upgrade local sheds that are no longer fit-for-purpose.
“Our volunteer CFA brigades do a tremendous job protecting our community when we need it most, but the current outdated facilities make it harder for them to do their work,” Mr Walsh said.
“The CFA shed at Leitchville is a relic that’s too small to fit the new tankers and doesn’t have appropriate meeting facilities.
“Construction of a new station is the first step to getting a new truck in the district.
“The current site is big enough to fit a new two bay station with a meeting room that will better meet the needs of our local volunteers.”
Meanwhile, the bridge at Rochester is looking to co-locate in a new, fit-for-purpose building with the local SES.
“Rochester’s current station is located in the centre of town in a building that’s too small for today’s appliances,” Mr Walsh said.
“The CFA and SES are facing similar problems and want to co-locate on a new site that will help them better serve our community.
“New facilities will also help Rochester to attract and retain volunteers.”
Mr Walsh also raised concerns about the ageing profile of CFA trucks across the region, with changes in operational guidelines now stipulating that only crew cabs could be deployed as part of a strike team.
“Volunteers from our local CFA District not only protect our local community, they also actively support others by sending available volunteers for strike teams to fight bushfires in other fire districts,” Mr Walsh said.
“Without investment from the Andrews Government, the capacity of brigades to deploy during long-term campaign fires, like those we have seen this summer, is heavily reduced.”