Kealy ups ante on fire airbase
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has again called on the State Government to provide money to complete the second stage of an emergency airbase in Hamilton.
Ms Kealy said the Country Fire Authorityemergency Management Victoria Airbase played a critical role in responding to fires across south-west Victoria.
Ms Kealy has been lobbying the government to provide funding to complete the project for four years.
“Air support has become an indispensable resource for firefighters, including playing a key role in responding quickly to small fires to stop them from growing,” she said.
“The critical role the Hamilton airbase plays in south-west Victoria was never more evident than during the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires, when more than 50 fire-bombing flights were deployed from the base in one day.
“While this was a fantastic effort, many more could have been deployed if stage two of the project was complete, allowing improved refill and refuel times.
“Water-bombing aircraft were also grounded for over an hour during the fires due to power outages and the lack of a backup generator.”
Ms Kealy accused Labor of failing to see the value in providing money necessary to allow the base to become ‘an efficient, modern and strategically located fire-fighting asset for south-west Victoria’.
It’s extremely disappointing,” she said. “The Liberal-nationals made a pre-election commitment to provide the $483,000 required to complete stage two.
“I am calling on Labor to match this commitment, giving our emergency services the infrastructure and equipment they need and our communities the peace of mind they are entitled to and deserve.”