April 16, 2015  |  Members Statements

Country Fire Authority Fiskville facility

Mr HOWARD (Buninyong) — Despite the focus on trying to remediate contamination at the Country Fire Authority’s (CFA) Fiskville training facility over the past few years, recent test results show that there are still serious health and safety issues at this site. This has led the CFA board to act upon its obligation to provide and maintain a working environment for employees that is safe and without risks to health, with the announcement of the permanent closure of Fiskville being made on 26 March. I visited Fiskville before the closure, as did the Minister for Emergency Services, the CEO of the CFA and many other senior CFA personnel. We also attended the Ballan fire station to talk to staff from Fiskville and concerned community members who are distressed about this decision.

While the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the CFA will continue to undertake work in relation to the contamination and its effects on people who have spent time at Fiskville, I am concerned to see that Fiskville staff are supported through the weeks and months ahead and that the surrounding community is also supported to address the social and economic impacts of the closure. This includes ensuring that CFA career and volunteer firefighters can continue to get the training they need and that this can be provided in our region. I will continue to work with the Minister for Emergency Services, emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley, CFA management, Moorabool Shire Council and ministers and government departmental staff to ensure that those affected by the closure know they will be fully supported over the months to come.