NEW fire stations will be built at Cudgee, Mepunga and Toolong after the state government allotted cash towards Country Fire Authority (CFA) infrastructure.
This week’s state budget allocated funding for the new south-west stations as part of a $22 million statewide investment.
Further afield, new stations will also be constructed in the heavily-forested regions north and west of Heywood for brigades at Hotspur, Milltown and Lyons. Cudgee CFA captain John Mahony said the brigade was pleased to hear the shed would finally be upgraded.
He said the present shed dated back to the mid-1950s and had become too small and started to rust in places.
“It’s very good news, it’s been a long time coming,” Mr Mahony said.
“When you have a shed dating back more than 50 years, things do get a little bit tired. The amount of equipment we have has grown and trucks have got larger as well.”
Mr Mahony, who is also Hopkins-Curdies deputy group captain, said the Cudgee station was an important part of the firefighting strategy used during the infamous 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.
Regional Cities Minister Denis Napthine said the stations at Cudgee and Mepunga were outdated and inadequate for today’s firefighting needs.
“This important funding will ensure local CFA volunteers have the best facilities to help them do their great work in protecting local communities,” the South West Coast MP said.
“These new fire stations will provide volunteers at Cudgee and Mepunga with the modern facilities they deserve to ensure they are able to continue protecting their local communities for decades to come.”
Yesterday’s announcement was part a Baillieu government commitment to build or upgrade 250 CFA stations statewide during its first term, Dr Napthine said.
“A further $12.3 million has been allocated to fleet infrastructure upgrades across the state to help the CFA best deliver on a range of services it provides, such as hazardous materials response and structural collapse,” he said.