Local MP Martin Aldridge has thrown his support behind a push to have the State Government’s new Bushfire Centre of Excellence (BCoE) located at the Muresk Institute near Northam.
Mr Aldridge, a former firefighter, said collocating the facility at Muresk would not only meet the location requirements outlined in the request for proposal (RFP) process but deliver significant cost-savings to government.
“Establishing the Bushfire Centre of Excellence in Northam satisfies all the requirements for the RFP process – it is within a good proximity of the Perth Airport, there is ample land available and would provide a great base for access to training or bushfire suppression and mitigation in the nearby fire prone Darling Scarp,” Mr Aldridge said.
“There would also be considerable cost savings involved by collocating the facility at Muresk, building off the back of upgrades delivered by The Nationals in Government and Royalties for Regions.
“I understand the proposal, while still in the early stages, has already attracted interest from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, who have sent staff to visit Muresk and tour the facilities.”
Mr Aldridge has also formally written to the Minister outlining the proposal and the benefits of the location. He outlined that he would prefer to see government funds better targeted at training and research and development than building more facilities.
“While the McGowan Government have stated they are prepared to put $18 million towards building the Bushfire Centre of Excellence, many savings would exist when you consider the excellent facilities already available at Muresk,” Mr Aldridge said.
The new centre will provide training opportunities for volunteers and career personnel across the State while ensuring WA has the best access to bushfire knowledge, technical expertise and science and research.
“While local governments in the South West are clamouring to land the project, there are compelling reasons why the Muresk Institute and Northam would make an ideal location for the Bushfire Centre of Excellence,” Mr Aldridge said.