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Congratulations to the Liberal Government in Western Australia in announcing the locating of its new Rural Fire Service Headquarters to a Rural location.

Imagine that… nicely played WA.

It’s not too late for NSW to follow suit by relocating our RURAL Fire Service to a Rural location.

Let’s put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service.

08 February 2017

Click HERE to view the original article.

The South West town of Collie is a Liberal-led Government’s preferred location for a Rural Fire Service, Premier Colin Barnett announced today.

Town’s central SW location, size and proximity to large number of bushfire volunteers make it ideal location for new service.

In Collie to make the announcement, Mr Barnett said there were many advantages to locating the new service in the town.

“Collie is central to the South West region where the bushfire risk is the greatest,” the Premier said. “The town is of sufficient size and has the infrastructure to support the service. It is also in close proximity to a large pool of bushfire volunteers, Department of Parks and Wildlife staff and bushfire-prone local authorities.

“In addition, Collie airstrip has recently been upgraded and is well set up as a base for aerial water bombing operations. I would expect the establishment of the service will create significant business and employment opportunities in Collie and its surrounds.”

Mr Barnett said the new facility in Collie would comprise administrative headquarters and a training facility.

The Rural Fire Service would be independent and have its own Chief Executive Officer reporting directly to the Minister for Emergency Services, but would work closely and collaboratively with the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner according to protocols that would be developed.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the establishment of a Rural Fire Service was a key recommendation of Euan Ferguson’s Special Inquiry into the bushfire a year ago that devastated the Shires of Harvey and Waroona, including the loss of two lives and destruction of 166 homes in Yarloop.

“A Rural Fire Service will build community resilience, engage and support volunteers and help to develop specialist bushfire skills,” Mr Francis said.

“A Liberal Government will continue to work with relevant agencies, including the Departments of Parks and Wildlife and Fire and Emergency Services, local government, volunteer firefighters and the United Firefighters Unions of WA, to determine the best model for the service ahead of the 2017-18 bushfire season.”

Mr Barnett said should the Government proceed with a bid for WA to become the national centre for excellence for bushfire predictive services, capability and training – a concept currently being scoped at a national level under the auspices of the National Burning Project – then Collie as the home of the Rural Fire Service would be an ideal location.

Fact file

The Liberal-led Government supported all 17 recommendations of the Special Inquiry into the Waroona fires.

In NSW, recommendations from the NSW Upper House inquiry into the January 2013 fires at Wambelong are ignored.

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