The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) joined some of its peers, Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan, FES Commissioner Darren Klemm, Member for Murray-Wellington Robyn Clarke, Shire of Murray President Cr David Bolt and a huge tank (that’s the collective noun for emergency services personnel, right?) of senior DFES staff in Pinjarra today for a “Bushfire Centre of Excellence stakeholder update”.
The gathering was MC’d by Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE) head honcho John Tillman who skilfully introduced other speakers including Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan, FES Commissioner Darren Klemm, DFES Rural Fire Division Executive Director Murray Carter and Murray Shire President Cr David Bolt.
As well as officially acknowledging the beginning of operations for the BCoE from 1 July, the DFES speakers provided some detail about the training the Centre will provide and how it plans to operate from a temporary facility in Pinjarra while the purpose-built facility is constructed in the nearby business park.
Minister Logan’s presentation contained two key messages:
- Local aboriginal people and their knowledge of managing fire in the landscape will be integral to the business of the BCoE, and
- After visiting NSW recently, he is convinced that having one Commissioner for all services is ideal because NSW’s structure has the various Commissioners fighting over money.
The President of the Shire of Murray Cr David Bolt concluded the presentations with the lighthearted story of how the Shire had picked the “best location” for an environmental project until the government had approached and asked if that land could be used for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence. Cr Bolt said the Shire had agreed to relocated its project and was committed to making the BCoE valuable for the broadest possible audience, including internationally.
Other than that, the morning provided an opportunity for the many Senior DFES staff in attendance to meet some of the non-government people involved and as such, was a relatively valuable exercise.
We thank the Minister and DRFD Executive Director Murray Carter for inviting our President, Mr Dave Gossage.