Member for Morwell Russell Northe has used Question Time in Parliament today to call upon the State Government to back Morwell Fire Brigade volunteers.
Whilst a new Morwell Fire Station is soon to commence construction to house career fire-fighters, Morwell Fire Brigade volunteers have made it very clear to the CFA and to the Victorian Government that they wish to remain at their existing fire station in McDonald Street Morwell, a position which Mr Northe supports.
“These dedicated volunteers have made a decision that they believe will be in the best interests in the retention and growth of volunteer numbers and the provision of services to the Morwell community” said Mr Northe.
Mr Northe questioned the Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville on whether the Minister was prepared to assist the Morwell Fire Brigade volunteers in their desire to remain at their current site.
Mr Northe also asked the Minister as to why other locations across the State including in Moe (Latrobe West) have been approved to operate separate fire services (career and volunteer) at separate locations, yet Morwell volunteers are being denied this opportunity” added Mr Northe
“Unfortunately the Minister appeared determined that the decision made by the CFA would stand; however she did agree to meet and discuss the issues with some of the volunteers who attended Parliament today”, Mr Northe said.
“Anyone who’s come in contact with the volunteers of the Morwell Fire Brigade knows that they are an exceptionally experienced and hardworking group, and many have dedicated hours upon hours of service – even just in the last month or two”.
Brigade volunteers have stated that a co-location will not support or improve volunteer sustainability or emergency services delivery.
“I just cannot understand why Morwell Fire Brigade volunteers are been denied their choice to remain in their current location and I am calling upon the Minister and the Government to step in and resolve this issue”, Mr Northe continued.
“Whilst a new Morwell Fire Station is most welcomed and a positive outcome for career fire-fighters, volunteers have determined their future is at the current McDonald Street site and the Minister and the Government should support and respect this decision”, Mr Northe said.