Below is a media statement published by the Premier Mark McGowan, Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan and Minister for Volunteering and Member for Collie-Preston, Mick Murray.
The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) understands the need for this government to invest in Collie and based on the limited information we currently have, provide in principle support for this initiative.
However, as the peak body for WA’s incredible bush fire volunteers, we are a little disappointed that the government yet again didn’t take us up on our repeated offers to help during the development stage. We sincerely hope that government will soon embrace the spirit of the findings of the Ferguson Inquiry and avail itself of the collaboration opportunity that exists by working with the AVBFB.
- New multipurpose bushfire facility to be built in Collie, creating long-term and sustainable jobs
- Facility to support career and volunteer emergency services personnel including firefighters and SES in Collie and the South-West
- Includes Incident Control Centre, Emergency Driver Training School, and regional fleet maintenance and management services
- Increasing emergency management capability in the South-West region
The McGowan Labor Government will build a new multipurpose Department of Fire and Emergency Services facility in Collie to create local jobs and ensure the South-West region has state-of-the-art resources to manage large-scale bushfires.
The $8 million facility will include an Incident Control Centre, Emergency Driver Training School, and regional fleet maintenance and management services.
It will support career and volunteer emergency services personnel, including firefighters and SES in Collie and the South-West region, and about 12 full-time workers will be based at the centre.
The Level 3 Incident Control Centre will be mobilised at the facility when required, during large-scale bushfires, to increase the emergency management capability of Collie and surrounding areas.
The Emergency Driver Training School will provide emergency response driver training to keep volunteer firefighters safe on the roads. It will allow other emergency services personnel to undertake essential emergency driver training as well.
A new regional fleet maintenance and management presence will support the relocation of up to 70 of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ high fire season fleet to Collie.
Management of this fleet will include storage and maintaining fleet readiness, planning and management of fleet deployment, managing and maintaining the vehicles used by the driving school, and managing emergency replacement for damaged appliances in the South-West.
Collie will also host hands-on bushfire mitigation training, including practical application, as part of the new Bushfire Centre of Excellence.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
“This new facility will create local jobs in Collie and give the community the reassurance they have the best possible resources to manage complex bushfires in the region.
“We expect the new facility will provide vital support and training to career and volunteer emergency services personnel, not just in Collie and the South-West, but across the State.
“Building this type of facility in Collie will help the town diversify its industry base to create long-term, sustainable employment and economic development in the area.
“It will provide a boost to the local economy and support local businesses as career and volunteer firefighters visit Collie to utilise the new facility.”
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“The people of Collie and surrounds know that living in a beautiful area does come with significant bushfire risk.
“This new multipurpose facility recognises the importance of having a top-level Incident Control Centre in Collie that will bring agencies together to provide the necessary intelligence, support and logistics that firefighters need when there are significant blazes in the area.
“The emergency driver training aspect of the centre will also be a considerable boost to not only the town, but for communities throughout the South-West.
“Emergency services personnel are operating big pieces of machinery in high-stress environments, so it is important that the drivers have all the necessary skills they need.
“Finally, I am very pleased that we have been able to bring real work opportunities down to Collie with the relocation of the maintenance for the high-season fire fleet.
“The town already has a history of servicing and fitting out fire appliances, and this decision recognises the skills and expertise in the town.”
Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“I welcome this announcement, delivered by the McGowan Government, and look forward to seeing this facility create jobs in town for locals.
“This is another step forward by the McGowan Government in helping Collie transition into a more diversified economy.
“This job-creating announcement will be welcomed by the people of Collie.”