Surprise $3M for new station

Riddells Creek firefighters are elated with the guarantee of a new $3 million station by 2021.
On Sunday, local MP Mary-Anne Thomas announced a surprise addition to the initial $950,000 promised in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 for refurbishments.
Brigade captain Tom Morley said the change in scope was “amazing news” and aligned with future plans of the brigade.
“This is something we were not expecting but certainly hopeful for,” he said.
“Land acquisition may be a challenge but we will work with the CFA to find a suitable site.”
The new station will feature a three-bay motor room, support and meeting areas, offices, turn-out areas for firefighters, as well as a kitchen, training yard, communications infrastructure, fencing and a car park. It will be constructed on a new and larger site still to be selected.
Mr Morley said height limitations of the current fire station meant the brigade was forced to turn down an upgrade to its second tanker a month ago.
“That was painful to have to do but you can’t fight physics,” he said.
The truck they had to refuse would have delivered larger capacity for water carry and a crew cab (not a luxury of the current vehicle), as well as other comforts such as air conditioning.
Such an upgrade would have been a huge boost to the brigade, which comprises 61 volunteers and responds to about 160 incidents a year.
In 2017, the brigade responded to 246 incidents in and around the district and as a support vehicle to Sunbury.
Ms Thomas noted the brigade was one of the busiest in the Macedon Ranges and commended volunteers on their efforts.
“The brigade has outgrown the facility, which was built in 1984, and this investment will provide a fit-for-purpose base for our local volunteers and the community,” she said.
Firefighters look forward to construction of the new facility, due for completion by the end of 2021.

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