CFA welcomes funds for emergency services hub

THE announcement of funding for an emergency services hub in Ballarat West has come after years of hard work and lobbying from local members of the Country Fire Authority, police and ambulance.

However, the Victorian government’s promised $8 million only covers buying the land and the building of a new police station. 

This leaves the CFA and Ambulance Victoria requiring funding to complete the project.

CFA regional director for the Grampians region Don Kelly said the emergency services hub was part of a broad CFA plan, called the Eureka Strategy, to handle the city’s growth. 

“The announcement made last week by the Premier is great. We have been planning for four years under the Eureka Strategy for facilities in Ballarat West,” he said. 

“We will be ready when the population comes, so we are absolutely excited about that. 

“I think the better thing is you have police, ambulance and CFA working together to get a really good result for the community.” 

An incident control centre is also mooted for the finished hub. 

Mr Kelly said funding was still required to build the other components to complete the project. 

“What we will be able to do is ensure that we have the best coverage for the community –  that is number one,” he said. 

“The second thing is, we work closely with the ambulance services and police at car accidents and other emergency incidents and some of these facilities will enable us to do some training together.” 

Mr Kelly said it was important to differentiate the hub from another proposed emergency services hub at the Ballarat Airport.

This second hub is expected to focus purely on air services relating to the CFA, police and Ambulance Victoria. 

Premier Denis Napthine made the announcement in Ballarat earlier this month. 

While it is not yet known the exact location of the hub, it is understood that it will be located in the southern part of Lucas.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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