Ryan: Time to act on Heathcote CFA station
24 February 2020
The push is on for a new CFA station for Heathcote, after Member for Euroa Steph Ryan raised the issue in Parliament last week.
Ms Ryan said Heathcote volunteers first approached the CFA about relocating from the brigade’s present site in High Street seven years ago.
“Heathcote’s fire station is no longer viable for the brigade,” Ms Ryan told Parliament.
“Volunteers are maintaining their equipment on the street because they don’t have enough room.
“Brigade members also have no changerooms, even though a quarter of the brigade is female.
Ms Ryan said volunteers at the Heathcote CFA first raised their desire for a new station seven years ago.
“Volunteers have identified several possible sites, but the government has not accepted any of these leaving them feeling frustrated and disheartened.”
In response to Ms Ryan’s request, Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said she would seek advice from the CFA on Heathcote’s request.
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 can be deployed as part of a strike team.
“Heathcote CFA is just one of a number of examples of brigades which have been overlooked in recent years,” Ms Ryan said.
“Local brigades are concerned about their future firefighting capabilities and their ability to retain volunteers without well-equipped stations or trucks.
“Without investment in new trucks, the capacity of brigades to deploy during long-term campaign fires, like those we have seen, is heavily reduced,” said Ms Ryan.