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By Alex Druce – 30 July 2015

A tug-of-war has erupted over the location of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) headquarters.

NSW Farmers wants the agency to move from Sydney to the Central West when its lease ends in 2018, but the RFS hierarchy has made its city-centric preference clear.

RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has publicly said the Homebush location had proximity to other emergency services and media outlets, while others have pointed out any move would come at a cost to taxpayers.

But NSW Farmers’ executive councillor Reg Kidd, also an Orange City Councillor, told this month’s annual conference that moving the base west aligned with the state government’s decentralisation policy.

“This is a perfect opportunity to move a government department to a rural region without impacting on its effectiveness and efficiency,”

Mr Kidd said. Mr Kidd said a move out of Sydney would also remove problems associated with traffic and general city based congestion.

“There would also have to be some cost savings, particularly in relation to property acquisition or leasing rates.”

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