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Mirboo North CFA station funding needs prioritised to upgrade outdated facilities highlighted by recent storm impact

Melina Bath urges the Minister for Emergency Services to prioritise funding for the Mirboo North CFA station upgrade in this year's budget, highlighting the urgent need due to outdated facilities and recent storm challenges.

By news@gippsland - 21st February 2024 - Back to News

My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Emergency Services, and the action I seek from the minister is to make sure that the upgrade to the Mirboo North CFA station is in this year's budget. Our CFA volunteers do the most amazing job in bushfire response, in house and grass fire response - hay sheds, as we know in the country - and as first responders to road crashes and indeed only last week to our storm-ravaged area.

A tornado-like storm struck Mirboo North on Feb 13 with winds up to 200 km/h, causing significant damage. Volunteers operated from an outdated station, emphasising the urgent need for upgrades

A tornado-like storm struck Mirboo North on Feb 13 with winds up to 200 km/h, causing significant damage. Volunteers operated from an outdated station, emphasising the urgent need for upgrades

Mirboo North storm

On Tuesday 13 February we saw a tornado-like storm hit the township of Mirboo North and surrounding districts. We saw gusts of reportedly up to 200 kilometres an hour that ripped through the town, shredding trees and peeling tin off homes, snapping goalposts at the local football club and wreaking havoc.

The dedicated and nimble Mirboo North volunteers rallied at their antiquated station. They responded to the crisis, chainsaws in hand to remove fallen trees to open up access points to get other people in and out of the town and checking on the safety of the residents.

Their station has been identified in the capital works program for some years, and with good reason. The majority of it was built in 1978, with an extension funded in 1995, solely, completely and utterly funded by volunteer-raised funds - these are the sorts of people that we have in regional Victoria.

CFA station upgrade

The occupational health and safety there is an issue because the appliance doors cannot both open at the same time. Actual firefighters have to squeeze into their trucks. Indeed during the storm one of the members had to go and get their own Starlink unit off their house and bring it so that there was telecommunications.

I want to place on record my absolute gratitude to the member for Gippsland South Danny O'Brien, who has been relentless in his quest for this new CFA establishment. What we also know is that unfortunately this government is starving the CFA of funds. Last year there was a budget of $310 million to service 1200 CFA brigades and their communities, and it has dropped $3 million since that budget.

I urge the minister to re-look at this budget, identify and respect those CFAs and certainly give them an operating budget that is worthy of all of those brigades. I do say that we have had the Premier mention the Mirboo North brigade in Parliament and we have had the emergency management minister here mention it and pay their gratitude. Well, one of the best ways you can pay that gratitude and respect is to actually fund and upgrade a fit-for-purpose fire station in this year's budget.

Pictures from Mirboo North CFA Facebook page.


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