(left to right): Michaela Settle MP, Buninyong-Mt Helen 2nd Lieutenant Matthew Cane and Deputy Chief Officer Peter O'Keefe
Buninyong-Mount Helen Fire Brigade’s new multi-million dollar station was officially opened today. Brigade members and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the special occasion.
The new $3.1 million state-of-the-art facility has replaced a 60 year-old station which had undergone multiple renovations and modifications over the years.
The old site no longer met the needs of the growing brigade so combined funding from the state government, community grants, brigade fundraising and CFA, saw the project come to fruition.
Buninyong Captain James Witham said the new station was welcomed by the brigade’s 60-strong membership which will help them better support the community.
“The new station is a much more modern, capable, spacious and safer facility, which will enable our brigade to better prepare for and respond to incidents locally, interstate and abroad,” he said.
“Thanks to a $45,000 community grant from the Buninyong & District Community Bank, we were able to add a display room at the front which will house some of our historical artefacts.
“This includes the treasured 1899 Merryweather horse-drawn fire cart which will be viewable from outside.
“It was important to have this unique feature at our brigade which not only represents our strong history but is also there for the community to enjoy and learn about our past.”
The new facility features a three-bay drive through motor room, dedicated turnout room, storage areas, workshop and modern amenities and meeting rooms.
It also has on-site car parking, a dedicated training area, hose drying tower and a two-bay external shed.
The brigade also contributed more than $127,00 to construction costs obtained through community fundraising. This contribution was used to increase the size of communal areas, upgrade hot water capacity and to install a security system.
A local command facility (LCF) will also be established at the Buninyong station in the near future to improve incident management and support for large and/or prolonged incidents in the surrounding area.
Deputy Chief Officer West Region Peter O’Keefe said Buninyong-Mount Helen brigade is an active brigade who respond to multiple callouts in their area, as well as supporting agency partners within the surrounding area.
“In addition to the newly constructed station, the brigade operates a second fire station in Mount Helen, where the brigade responds to around 180 callouts per year,” DCO O’Keefe said.
“They have significant infrastructure assets in their response area including a large university campus with student accommodation, ESTA’s Ballarat emergency communications centre and the State Library of Victoria’s archive, so it’s important to provide our volunteers with the best possible facilities.”
The brigade will be hosting a community open day at the new station later in the year.
- 2nd Lieutenant Matthew Cane with Deputy Chief Officer Peter O'Keefe
- (left to right): John McLeod, Des Sunderland, Michaela Settle MP and Ron Gilchrist