The future of a new CFA training centre is guaranteed, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government
Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, Acting CFA Chief Officer Alen Slijepcevic and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard today visited Ballan to announce that the Government has purchased land for a new Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) near Ingliston Road.
The 2016-17 Victorian Budget invested $46.2 million to address the shortfall caused by the closure of the CFA Training College in Fiskville, with $31 million going to the purchase of land and establishment of the new training centre in Ballan.
The Huntly VEMTC will also receive a share of funding for improvements to help more emergency management people develop and maintain their skills, as well as provide specialist investigation training.
Funding is also going to the establishment of the Victorian Emergency Management Institute (VEMI) in Mount Macedon, which will be available to CFA members along with others in the broader Emergency Management sector to undertake training.
The Labor Government shut down the Fiskville site in 2015 after tests showed firefighters were exposed to dangerous chemicals that likely caused cancer, confirmingwhat many firefighters had suspected for decades.
The Government invested $80.7 million to decommission the Fiskville training facility and conduct environmental audits and upgrades at six other operational centres located across regional Victoria. The new Ballan VEMTC will be an environmentally safe facility featuring hot fire and multi-purpose training pads as well as firefighting props and specialist training capability.
It will provide trainees with real life simulations of the emergency situations they may face on the front-line, ensuring they are ready when confronted with the natural disasters that put our communities at risk.
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier and Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino
"We’ve been working hard to secure this 35 hectare site and now we can get on with the job of building a safe, world-class training facility."
"Our firefighters and emergency management workers put their own lives at risk to keep communities safe."
"We closed Fiskville because of the cancer risks - and we won't stand by until we have new and upgraded firefighting training centres in place."
Quotes attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley
"This site will not just be for the CFA; it’s a first-rate facility that will be there for all agencies including the SES and other emergency services."
Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
"Building the new Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre in Ballan will help boost jobs in the region and the economic benefits will spread throughout the local community."
Reviewed 19 August 2020