Emergency Services | January 21, 2016

Nationals MPs call on Labor to act on Morwell CFA station commitment

Friday 15 January

Nationals MPs Russell Northe and Melina Bath are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to explain when and how allocated funding for the Morwell CFA fire station will be used.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said local CFA personnel were concerned no details or plans had been provided for the new Morwell CFA station.

“In 2014 the Coalition invested $5 million to build a much needed new CFA station in Morwell,” Mr Northe said.

 “An initial $5 million was allocated to fund land acquisition and the construction of a new station, ensuring our firefighters are equipped with the tools and resources they need to do their job.”

In May 2015 the newly elected Andrews Labor Government promised a further $3 million for a new emergency services hub for fire and ambulance services to be built in Morwell.

However Mr Northe said the Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett had remained tight lipped as to exactly how and when this money would be spent.

“Our local career firefighters and volunteers deserve this further investment and it’s now time for this Labor Government to put their money where their mouth is,” Mr Northe said.

“Essentially with the Coalition’s allocation the Andrews Government is sitting on $8 million for an emergency services facility in Morwell yet we have no idea as to what form this will take, where it will be situated, how it will be staffed or when works will begin.”

Mr Northe said despite repeated questioning to the Emergency Services Minister, no answers were forthcoming.

The Nationals MP along with Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Brad Battin and Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath met with local CFA volunteers today to discuss the future of the Morwell CFA fire station.

Ms Bath said Morwell’s emergency services workforce was eager to hear whether land had been acquired for the new station.

“They rightly want to know exactly how this money will be used, if Morwell will house both ambulance and fire services and what the staffing profile will be,” Ms Bath said.

“This is people’s livelihoods we are dealing with and it would be nice if the Andrews Government would be more open as to what the exact plans are for Morwell CFA and emergency services.”

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Caption: Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin, Pat Quinn, Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath, John Holland, Peter Keenan and Member for Morwell Russell Northe.

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