Country Fire Authority Fiskville Facility
I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The action I seek is that he investigate claims made by Mr Neville Callow in regard to the fumes, noise and debris impacting upon his property next to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) Fiskville training facility.
Earlier today I was contacted by Mr Callow, who advised me that his property is less than 100 metres from the Fiskville test sites. He advised me that he has been diagnosed with a serious lung disorder which he believes is the result of the smoke from training fires at Fiskville which regularly blows across his property. He also said he believes this smoke has contaminated his farm dam, which has resulted in the death of fish in the dam.
In more recent times explosives have often been detonated near his boundary as part of police training exercises. During these explosions — for which no warnings are given — the level of noise and disturbance is often considerable, and concrete debris has sometimes fallen on his property. Mr Callow also blames the death of two calves on his property on these explosions.
Mr Callow has made contact with the CFA many times over the years and been told that the CFA believes he should be bought out to enable the CFA to extend the buffer for its training activities. At one time some years ago Mr Callow was advised that an offer was imminent, but he was later told that the CFA board had determined not to proceed with the purchase of his property. More recently another offer for purchase has been made, but the figure was well below Mr Callow’s valuation.
Since rejecting this offer Mr Callow advises that he has received no further advice from the CFA attempting to address his concerns. He has been advised that he should no longer write to the Victorian WorkCover Authority or other bodies to express his concern but should instead direct all correspondence to the officer in charge of the Fiskville training facility. This is a matter of significant concern which comes on top of many very serious health issues raised by firefighters who have taken part in training activities on this site over many years.
I ask the minister to investigate this matter in regard to Mr Callow and ensure that he is given the fair treatment he deserves.