Country Fire Authority Plenty Station

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Emergency Services, and the action that I seek is for him to instruct his agencies to have urgent discussions with the Nillumbik shire to remove impediments preventing the progress of the construction of a new Country Fire Authority (CFA) station at Plenty.

This fabulous brigade has been campaigning for a decade for a new station. Labor made an election commitment in 2010 to do so for both the Plenty and Wattle Glen brigades. Sadly we were not elected at that election, and the coalition had made no such commitment. Even worse, the Wattle Glen brigade was pressured to close and the Plenty brigade had to contend with rumours of them being taken over as a staffed station, so consequently nothing was built. In 2014 Labor again made an election commitment to build the Plenty fire station and the Wattle Glen fire station, and we funded that early in our term.

The alignment of Yan Yean Road, with another great project that they are doing meant the sourcing of land was complex.

But mid last year a site was finally identified. On 8 August 2017 the CFA wrote to Nillumbik shire saying, and I quote:

Re: … proposed site at cnr Memorial Drive and Butlers Road

Further to a meeting between council officers and CFA representatives on the 4 August 2017, CFA is requesting from Nillumbik Shire Council an ‘in principle’ agreement to allow CFA to progress with a planning permit application for the redevelopment of the Plenty fire station on land within Plenty War Memorial Park …

The letter goes on to say:

CFA currently leases the existing Plenty fire station site from council which is also located within the same reserve at the corner of Yan Yean Road and Memorial Drive.

As you are aware CFA has been searching for a suitable site for a new Plenty fire station for over 10 years …

CFA is looking forward to working closely with council to achieve the best possible outcome for the Plenty community.

Now, some nine months on, nothing has progressed. This brigade badly needs a station to be built and in place before the next fire season, and the only impediment to this is Liberal-led council. The Liberals did nothing in government at a state level and now they are in control of Nillumbik council and they are trying to hold up the protection of this great community.

Ironically, the Nillumbik shire offices themselves are within the response area for the Plenty CFA. I urge the minister to have his agencies get Nillumbik Shire Council to move so that this fire station can be built.