“We need more space”

Myrtle­ford CFA still wait­ing for land, con­cerned about safety

Myrtleford Times - - News - BY TATE SPI­TERI

MYRTLE­FORD CFA cap­tain, Garry Gun­son, says his brigade re­mains in the dark about when a des­per­ately needed sta­tion up­grade will oc­cur.

Mr Gun­son said a move has been in the pipe­line since he took on the cap­tain’s role 14 years ago, but has re­mained on the back­burner to govern­ment au­thor­i­ties.

Tim McCurdy ( MLA Ovens Val­ley) has sought fund­ing for an up­grade but any move or con­crete plans have not been or­ches­trated.

The brigade has been given pri­or­ity for prop­erty on McGee­han Cres­cent but the land has not yet been made avail­able by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP).

“As soon as land be­comes avail­able for ac­qui­si­tion we have been given dibs for it, at the mo­ment Tim McCurdy is on board with us to fund a level two sta­tion be­cause this is a group head­quar- ters,” Mr Gun­son said.

“We are at a stand­still un­til such time.

“I keep push­ing for it with both par­ties, the CFA and DELWP, but un­til they make a de­ci­sion noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen.”

The 1989-built sta­tion was de- signed to last 20 years but has re­mained the brigade’s home de­spite pass­ing be­ing al­most a decade older.

“It’s past its use by date, it’s fallen apart and is not safe de­spite be­ing in a perfect lo­ca­tion,” Mr Gun­son said.

“About 12 or 14 years ago we amal­ga­mated from be­ing an ur­ban brigade to a ru­ral brigade which meant we joined the two bri­gades to­gether in the one sta­tion.

“It was too small then and it now houses the group head­quar­ters which has got a full com­mand ve­hi­cle.

“We have got one ve­hi­cle sit­ting on the lawn and an­other on the apron out the back.”

The sta­tion has had to in­stall ex­tra CCTV cam­eras fol­low­ing van­dal­ism to the out­side ve­hi­cles, while safety also re­mains an is­sue due to un­even con­crete, tight locker ar­eas and as­bestos through­out the sta­tion’s roof.

“It’s not meet­ing our needs and it’s an oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety risk due to its age,” Mr Gun­son said.

“Tim (McCurdy) has been in and guided im­por­tant stake­hold­ers through our sta­tion and pointed out all its faults, he has also ob­vi­ously spo­ken to Wodonga and told them what the go is.

“He is right be­hind us so hope­fully some­thing will come of it.”

NO ROOM: Myrtle­ford CFA cap­tain Garry Gun­son, demon­strates the lack of space be­tween the shed wall, lock­ers and ve­hi­cles at the brigade’s cur­rent sta­tion.

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