November 13, 2013  |  Members Statements

Mount Helen Country Fire Authority Station

Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— The communities of Mount Helen and Mount Clear will again face another fire season without their own fire station. It is now three years since the coalition promised the station as its key election promise for the people of Mount Helen and Mount Clear. The Mount Clear-Mount Helen area was listed in the 52 high fire risk locations in Victoria in 2009, and a fire response strategy for Ballarat called the Eureka Strategy was released by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in 2010.

The strategy indicated that in order to ensure that all sites in Mount Clear and Mount Helen were to gain fire response within the CFA targeted call-out times a new fire station needed to be built in the area.

Not only would this station assist in servicing the housing in the Mount Clear and Mount Helen area, it would also service the University of Ballarat and the technology park in Mount Helen. Both Labor and the coalition promised to build the station ahead of the 2010 state election. Three years later, with the coalition now in government, no contract has been signed and no construction has commenced.

It seems ironic that the announcement about the land purchase was made in Fire Action Week last year. Twelve months later, the site is still a bare paddock. This government has been too slow to deliver on its promises to the people of Mount Clear and Mount Helen. This important fire station should have been built and should have been operational before now. Other coalition promises yet to be constructed include the Whitehorse Road roundabout upgrade, which was funded in the 2010 budget — —

The SPEAKER — Order! The time allocated to members statements has concluded.