THE state government may be forced to compulsorily acquire land for a new Fiskville site, as it continues to fail to close in on deals.
Moorabool Shire Council mayor Allan Comrie says the township of Ballan is desperate for the government to secure land to ensure the town remains vibrant.
The state government allocated $300,000 in its current budget to secure land for a new CFA training site, after the Fiskville location was shut down due to high levels of toxins in water.
The hunt for a new site to build a training centre, which Cr Comrie understands will be smaller than Fiskville, has taken longer than initially expected.
For several months emergency Service Minister Jane Garrett has said the government has come close to closing in on deals. So far no land has been secured.
“We are in active negotiations on a number of properties,” Ms Garret said.
Ms Garrett said the government had met with CFA chief executive officer Lucinda Nolan this week, who is “working actively” with the council and local community to secure a site.
Ms Garrett maintained the government remained committed to a Ballan-based site.
“We are doing everything we can to purchase a suitable site in the Ballan area.
“It depends on when we can close the sale with those land holder, we are feeling very optimistic at this stage.”
Ms Garrett said other options including compulsory land acquisition would be investigated if a site could not be secured soon.
“If we are unable to secure a site in the next little while then we will have to consider other options including compulsory acquisition of land.”
Cr Comrie said council had been pushing the compulsory land acquisition but has been “getting no where”.
“They have put the money there are we need to get moving.” He is fearful the money will not be in the next budget is land is not secured.
If we are unable to secure a site in the next little while then we will have to consider other options including compulsory acquisition of land.- Jane Garrett
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