The long wait is almost over for Yarram with confirmation that funding for a new fire station has been secured in the State Budget.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said he was thrilled to know the money was finally on the table for this crucial project.
“This project has been shovel-ready for years with a parcel of land purchased on Commercial Road back in 2016,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I took the opportunity during recent Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings to confirm with the Minister for Emergency Services that the $34.22 million allocated to emergency services in this year’s budget included funding to allow for works to finally commence on the rebuild of the Yarram Fire Station.
“This is great news for the Yarram community and in particular for the local volunteers who have been forced to make-do with a sub-standard facility for far too long.”
The Nationals committed funds to the rebuild of the Yarram Fire Station prior to the 2018 election, but unfortunately this was not matched by the Andrews Labor Government at the time.
Mr O’Brien said Premier Andrews has a history of overlooking the needs of CFA volunteers in recent years while focusing on the creation of Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
“Our CFA volunteers have dealt with huge upheaval and the taxpayers have shouldered significant costs while Andrews introduced huge reforms to accommodate the creation of FRV.
“We were told this was necessary in order to improve emergency response times, so it is particularly frustrating to see in the Budget that FRV is projected to fail to meet many of its performance targets again this year.”
Mr O’Brien said that it was past time for the Andrews Labor Government to make CFA volunteers a priority and also took the opportunity to ensure that the Minister was aware that Foster and Mirboo North were in urgent need of rebuilds.
“These fire stations are too small and expose our hard-working emergency service volunteers to unnecessary risk.
“They simply weren’t made to house modern fire trucks or address the health and safety needs of our volunteers and should be rebuilt.”