Media Releases


Symes confirms continued Labor failings on CFA District 23 headquarters.

The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has exposed Labor’s ignorance to the infrastructure needs of CFA District 23 firefighters during question time in State Parliament this week.

Having last raised the lack of infrastructure and a dedicated headquarters for the Wangaratta Group with Emergency Services Minster Jaclyn Symes back in March, Ms Lovell asked Ms Symes what she had done to secure a suitable headquarters for District 23 personnel since that time.

In response Ms Symes cited discussions between the CFA and Wangaratta SES for the District 23 group to share space in the SES facility. However early proposals around an MOU for shared space indicated the CFA would need to gain permission from the SES every time they wanted to access the facility which is unworkable and unacceptable to the CFA group.

Ms Lovell further questioned whether Ms Symes would guarantee that the CFA would have dedicated space at the facility and would be allowed access without having to seek permission from SES personnel to enter the premises.

In response to Ms Lovell’s second question, Ms Symes failed to guarantee the CFA would have a dedicated space or be able to access the facility without first gaining permission from the SES.

Ms Lovell said the Minister’s responses showed the neglect of CFA brigades in District 23, with a lack of infrastructure hampering the ability of firefighters to keep their communities safe.

Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:

“With confirmation the Incident Control Centre is returning to Ely St, it is time the Minister stepped in to provide an acceptable permanent headquarters for the District 23 group.

“The Minister’s latest answers regarding infrastructure needs in District 23 show the contempt the State Government has for the CFA and its wonderful personnel.”

Media Contact:  Jason Kelly         0413 103 240

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