Construction is officially underway on the new Plenty fire station, delivering a significant boost to fire services in the fast-growing area on the north eastern edge of Greater Melbourne.

Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services Paul Edbrooke today turned the first sod at the site for what will be a state-of-the-art station for the Plenty Fire Brigade, with completion set for later this year.

The $2.65 million Victorian Government-funded project will see a new fire station built at Memorial Park on the north east corner of Butlers Road and Memorial Drive that will better meet the needs of the community.

Today’s sod turn marks the start of a new chapter for the brigade, which formed in 1961 and has since outgrown its existing premises nearby on Yan Yean Road.

The current station, built in 1970, no longer meets the needs of its volunteer firefighting members who have a long history of supporting not only the Plenty community, but regularly supporting surrounding brigades.

The new station will be a modern, four-bay drive-through station with more space for vehicles and with larger, fit-for-purpose spaces for its 76 members.

It will feature upgraded meeting and administration rooms, amenities and increased storage space, while the expanded premises will also contain an on-site carpark as well as a hose drying tower and shed.

Crucially, the new station will better place the brigade to tackle hundreds of callouts each year in a service area which includes residential and commercial precincts that sit next to rural and bushland areas, including Plenty Gorge National Park.

The brigade was among those to have battled bushfires during the devastating 2019­­–20 fire season – including the significant, complex fire in local Plenty Gorge National Park which began on 30 December 2020 and lasted for 11 days. It also deployed crews to NSW, the Snowy Ranges and East Gippsland.

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services Paul Edbrooke

“Firefighters at Plenty Fire Brigade have been serving the local community for more than 60 years and continue to do a brilliant job keeping their community safe.

“Their efforts to contain bushfires during the summer of 2019–20, and especially the significant fire in Plenty Gorge National Park which threatened homes and livelihoods in late December 2020, are to be commended.

“The government is supporting Victoria’s emergency service volunteers by providing them with the tools and resources they need to save lives and protect community resources.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Yean Yan, Danielle Green

“This is an important project that ensure our hardworking volunteers have the resourced needed to effectively carry out their duties safely.”

“This is a long awaited upgrade that will help ensure that our community remains safe and support our volunteers in their life saving work.”