By Jessica Micallef
Fire response times could be impacted if the Mount Macedon Fire Brigade relocates to a new facility, a volunteer firefighter has warned.
Star Weekly has confirmed the CFA is behind a move to relocate the station from its existing site on Mount Macedon Road, further south to vacant land between the Victorian Emergency Management Institute and the Mount Macedon Golf Club, almost two kilometres away.
The volunteer, who did not wish to be named, said any potential move “down the hill could lengthen the response times of fire trucks”.
The CFA confirmed on Friday that talks were now under way to relocate the brigade’s headquarters, but the location near the golf course was just one option.
“It’s more than likely the brigade will be moved. The current site has been deemed unable to meet current OH&S standards,” a CFA spokesperson said.
“Following the Victorian State Budget announcement of $1.6m funding for the replacement of the Mount Macedon fire station, options are being considered in conjunction with local CFA management.
“One option is for the relocation of the brigade to a new purpose-built station on Victorian Emergency Management Institute land on Mount Macedon Road. This option is being considered due to a number of factors, including the size of the current site and the inability to meet all Occupational Health & Safety and access requirements.
“CFA is committed to providing the community and brigade facilities that will adequately provide for all the brigade needs into the future.”
When asked if she supported relocating the current brigade, Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said: “As the local MP, I have been working closely with the Mount Macedon Fire Brigade to secure the funding the brigade needs to meet their operational needs.
“In this year’s state budget, I helped secure $1.6 million in funding for the brigade to re-develop their station.
“If I earn the honour of serving my community for another four years, I will continue to work closely with the brigade to ensure they have a station that meets their needs.”
The brigade has spent the past 18 months working on upgrade plans, including a collaboration with Melbourne University architecture students regarding the designs.
The brigade’s headquarters has not been developed since before the Ash Wednesday fires.