Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan announced $700,000 in Victorian Coalition Government funding for major renovations to the historic Ballarat East Fire Station today.
Mr Ryan said renovations would ensure the facility better supported Country Fire Authority (CFA) operations at the site, while respecting the heritage features of the tower and belfry, built nearly 150 years ago.
“The Coalition Government made a commitment to fund improvements at the Ballarat East Fire Station to create space for modern fire trucks and to improve the safety of brigade members,” Mr Ryan said.
“The renovations works will include the creation of a new motor room to house the brigade’s four firefighting and rescue appliances, including a heavy pumper, heavy tanker, heavy rescue vehicle and road rescue support vehicle.
“The façade of the building will also be renovated and a house on the site that is no longer needed will be removed.
“City of Ballarat and Heritage Victoria will be closely consulted as part of this project to ensure planning and heritage issues are taken into account and that changes are in keeping with the character of the original buildings.”
Member for Western Region Simon Ramsay welcomed the announcement and said the upgrade would significantly improve the site for Ballarat Fire Brigade’s 72 volunteer members.
“The Ballarat East brigade responds to around 600 fires a year, as well as road rescues within a 40 kilometre radius and a range of other incidents,” Mr Ramsay said.
“These changes will create a much more user-friendly space that reflects changes in modern operations and equipment and better supports CFA members.”
Mr Ryan said the CFA was one of the world’s largest volunteer-based emergency service organisations, with more than 60,000 members, including 58,000 volunteers.
“In the 2012-13 Budget the Coalition Government committed to more than $55 million to boost the state’s emergency services infrastructure, including $22.22 million over one year to build or upgrade about 45 CFA rural fire stations,” Mr Ryan said.