O’Brien pushes expanded training role for West Sale
West Sale’s CFA training centre should be greatly expanded to fill a void in emergency services training, delivering an economic boost to Wellington Shire, according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien said the West Sale centre was a logical option for expansion following the closure of the former state training facility at Fiskville in March.
“West Sale is just a few hours from Melbourne, located conveniently on the Princes Highway and next door to West Sale Aerodrome. But what really makes it attractive is that it is adjacent to the Fulham Campus of Federation Training which the community has been keen to move into the Sale CBD for some time.
“If the proposal was to go ahead, the TAFE campus could be used for training rooms and accommodation for fire fighters and other emergency services trainees. With a canteen and commercial kitchen already on site, trainees from all over the state could be well catered for.
“I have spoken with Federation Training which is keen to progress the move into the CBD and is therefore supportive in principle of the emergency services training idea.”
Mr O’Brien has put his proposal to Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett and Training and Skills Minister Steve Herbert, seeking government support.
“Having an expanded emergency services training centre located at West Sale would be a shot in the arm for our region, as would bringing the TAFE into town. Investment and expansion at West Sale would create jobs, bring people to the area and create a flow-on effect for local small businesses and industry.”
Mr O’Brien said the West Sale CFA site had three areas for fire training simulations which enabled fire fighters to participate in training scenarios that were as close as possible to reality.
“I’m aware that with the closure of Fiskville, our emergency services will be considering different options for the delivery of training. I’m calling on the Labor Government to seriously consider West Sale for an expanded role in the new arrangements.
“This is a common sense proposal that would deliver improved emergency services training for our state as well as a better TAFE outcome for the local region.
“I hope the government and the emergency services, including the CFA, will give the idea serious consideration.”