Regional CFA stations desperate for funding
24 February 2020
CFA brigades across the Euroa electorate are concerned about their future firefighting capabilities if the Andrews Government don’t act to provide funding to upgrade their stations and equipment.
Speaking in Parliament this week, Ms Ryan asked the Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville to fund new stations, including for the Strathbogie and Molka brigades who are struggling to continue in inadequate conditions.
“Strathbogie’s fire station is no longer viable for the brigade. The station is so cramped the brigade has to store their ultralight tanker at a neighbour’s property,” Ms Ryan said.
“Volunteers have also expressed their concern that they do not have adequate room to maintain their hoses and have been left with no option but to clean them in the street.
“Strathbogie CFA has been circulating a community-driven petition which is calling on the government to urgently fund an upgrade of their fire station to provide more space.
“An ideal site has been found but no action has yet been taken by the Andrews Government, despite having raised the issue with them now on several occasions.”
Ms Ryan also reiterated the dire need for funding the Molka CFA, with brigade members lacking the most basic amenities including access to power and running water.
“The Molka brigade has been virtually forgotten by this government,” Ms Ryan told the Minister.
“Forget about having a toilet at Molka; the CFA station does not have any power or even running water.
“The CFA have had to install solar panels and batteries on their shed to have enough lighting to get the truck out at night.”
Ms Ryan also raised concerns about the ageing profile of CFA trucks across the region, with changes in operational guidelines now stipulating that only crew cabs could be deployed as part of a strike team.
“Without investment from the Andrews Government, the capacity of brigades to deploy during long-term campaign fires, like those we have seen, is heavily reduced,” Ms Ryan said.
Photo caption: The Nationals Member for Euroa Steph Ryan with Andrew Townsend