New fire station set to open in Ballarat

A new CFA fire station is expected to be built at the Ballarat West emergency service hub later this year to cater for the city’s growing population.

CFA district 15 operations manager Brett Boatman said the new station was currently being planned and a planning application was expected to be submitted to the City of Ballarat in coming weeks. If approved, the project would go out to tender later this year.

Mr Boatman said the station would be an integrated station for both career and volunteer fire firefighters, consist of 10 bedrooms and would potentially be a volunteer hub for members from nearby brigades.

The future of the CFA as a combined volunteer and  career fire service has come under question in recent weeks, with suggestions that the volunteer and career services could be split into two different bodies. 

CFA district 15 operations manager Brett Boatman.

CFA district 15 operations manager Brett Boatman.

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino would not ask specific questions about this issue at Monday’s Fiskville announcement, but said the state government would make comment around this in coming weeks.

He said the Turnbull government’s interference in workplace laws had made it impossible to pass the CFA’s protracted EBA. 

“We are looking at all options. The reality is the political interference of the Turnbull government means not only is the proposed CFA agreement impossible to get through, but any CFA agreement that includes normal clauses will fall foul of the federal legislation,” Mr Merlino said.

“We’re looking at what improvements we can make – I’ll be making announcements in the future.” 

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said Victoria would always have professional and volunteer firefighters.