Key points:

  • Bush fire brigades peak body offers to move its headquarters to the Shire of Murray to improve cooperation and collaboration between volunteers, Rural Fire Division (RFD) and local governments.
  • Offer includes innovative proposal to incorporate Centre for Bushfire Education and Heritage (CBEH) concept to showcase its fleet of up to 20 historical vehicles and coordinate community education.
  • Association says proposal will deliver new employment, tourism, education and heritage opportunities for the Shire of Murray community as well as add significant value to Bushfire Centre of Excellence.

The peak body for WA’s 26,000 Bush Fire Brigade Volunteers has revealed that it has had informal discussions with senior DFES staff proposing a partnership that would add significant value to the government’s Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE) and the broader Peel region.

In welcoming today’s announcement that a decision has been made regarding the location of the future Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE), AVBFB President Dave Gossage said the Association’s offer would deliver better collaboration and cooperation between volunteers, local governments and the department as well as create new and direct employment, tourism, education and heritage opportunities for the local community.

“We are very excited about this: it’s one of those rare opportunities for a win-win outcome,” Mr Gossage said.

“The Premier and Minister both acknowledged the failure of previous governments to properly understand and engage with our members last April when they announced a new Rural Fire Division of DFES and have since talked up the need for ‘unity’ and better collaboration with stakeholders.”

“To help the government achieve this, we are calling for a commitment to work with us and the Shire of Murray to not only incorporate the headquarters of the DFES Rural Fire Division in the BCoE, but also that of the peak body for bush fire brigades and our innovative idea of a Centre for Bush Fire Education and Heritage.”

“If they’re fair dinkum about better engaging with and supporting the tens of thousands of incredible women and men of WA’s largest emergency service, it would be very hard to understand anything other than an immediate and enthusiastic acceptance to our offer. It really is a no-brainer!”

“The AVBFB is absolutely resolute in its view that WA cannot afford to ignore any opportunity to better engage and support the amazing women and men who donate their time and expert skills to keep us all safe.”

“This is a rare opportunity for government to genuinely partner with the peak body for WA’s amazing volunteer bush fire brigades and guarantee the future success and viability of the Bush Fire Centre of Excellence while actively contributing to the broader region as well,” concluded Mr Gossage.

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