The following Question On Notice was asked by the Hon Colin de Grussa and answered today in Parliament by the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC on behalf of the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA.
DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES — MULTIPURPOSE FACILITY — COLLIE
Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to the government’s recent announcement of the construction of an $8 million multipurpose bushfire facility in Collie.
(1) What process did the government undertake to determine the location of this facility and what other regional communities were considered?
(2) Will the Collie bushfire facility provide services that the recently announced $18 million Bushfire Centre of Excellence in Nambeelup does not provide?
(3) If yes to (2), why were these services not considered as part of the Bushfire Centre of Excellence?
(4) If no to (2), why was it necessary to spend $8 million to create a facility that offers duplicate services just 119 kilometres south of the Bushfire Centre of Excellence?
(5) Why was Collie not simply chosen as the preferred site for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1) The state government is committed to increasing emergency management capability across the state, including in the south west region. The new multipurpose bushfire facility will provide the community with the resources to manage complex bushfires as well as contribute to regional prosperity and local job creation. Collie is the ideal location to operate an emergency driver training facility, house and maintain Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ high fire season fleet and house a level 3 incident control centre.
(3) These facilities and activities were not included in requirements for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence as they fall out of scope of the service delivery model. They were identified based on the needs of the area and the state more broadly. The Shire of Collie, DFES and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions do not currently have a suitable facility to manage large incidents in the area. The new facility will decentralise some of DFES’ fleet maintenance and management services, providing the opportunity to deliver a regionally based driver training facility for all emergency services. This further enhances fire and emergency management in Western Australia.
(4) Not applicable.
(5) The location of the multipurpose facility in Collie is unrelated to the selection process for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence and will perform different functions.