Call for new fire station at Neerim South
Local Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called upon the Labor Government to take action and expedite the purchase of land in Neerim South for a new fire station.
The call for action from Mr Blackwood comes after years of inaction and a pre-election commitment in 2006 by the Labor Government.
'A proposal to develop a joint facility for Rural Ambulance Victoria and the Neerim South fire brigade was developed and became part of a pre-election commitment in 2006' said Mr Blackwood.
'The Neerim South fire station had funds allocated in the 2006-07 financial year for the purchase of the property adjoining the station.
'The plan was subsequently abandoned and Rural Ambulance Victoria has proceeded independently and purchased land to service its own needs' Mr Blackwood said.
Mr Blackwood said land that will meet the requirements of the CFA in Neerim South is in short supply.
'The land identified as suitable and available is in an excellent location, is flat, has very good access to the main road and is large enough to accommodate the current needs of the fire brigade with room for future expansion, which will definitely be a requirement given the population growth in the area' said Mr Blackwood.
Any land that is available and can be identified as meeting the requirements of the CFA should be purchased as soon as possible.
Mr Blackwood believes the project will serve as important recognition of the essential service provided by members of the Neerim South fire brigade, and delay in purchasing the land would only undermine that recognition.
'Given the long delay with this project, the morale of the members of the Neerim South fire brigade is at an all time low. They are still recovering from the trauma of the Black Saturday fires,' said Mr Blackwood.
'On the day of the tragedy they served their community with great distinction.
'The very least the minister can do is deliver a longstanding promise of this Labor Government and reward the amazing service and commitment of the Neerim South fire brigade members to their community over many years' Mr Blackwood said.