Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — The Pomonal fire station, located approximately 45 kilometres west of Ararat on the Western Highway, serves one of seven Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades in the district 16 Ararat group. With 72 members it is the largest of all brigades of similar town and district size in the region. Because it is situated close to the Grampians, the brigade must be prepared for large bushfires as well as emergency events that threaten large numbers of tourists and hobby farmers and the township.
On a number of occasions my office has been in contact with Mr Terry May, chairperson of the brigade, who has informed us of the CFA’s reversal of a previous decision to provide Pomonal with a new lB fire station, deciding instead that a smaller 1A fire station will be installed. The CFA stated that this decision is exclusively a funding issue.
As is well known by the Victorian community, during its time in government the Napthine government has slashed tens of millions of dollars from the CFA. This has resulted in the Pomonal brigade being allocated a 1A station that will be simply inadequate for the size and responsibility of the brigade.
Last month I raised an issue facing the Kolora CFA brigade in my electorate. It has been fighting for first aid training to be provided by the CFA as only 3 of its more than 20 members have received this training. With the fire season just around the corner, our CFA volunteers must be provided with adequate means to protect our community, not continually denied proper resources due to the Napthine government’s CFA cuts.