Eleven NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) sheds in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) will undergo a $1 million makeover.
Cessnock City Council recently secured the windfall under the NSW Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.
Bucketty RFS and Laguna RFS attracted the most funding; between them, they’ll undertake major upgrades worth more than $500,000.
Premises at North Rothbury RFS, Central Cessnock RFS, Benwerrin RFS, Greta RFS, Kearsley RFS, Mulbring RFS, Neath RFS, Pokolbin RFS and Quorrobolong RFS will benefit, too.
Laguna RFS Captain Andrew Jones was beaming from ear-to-ear.
“Our small truck bay will be expanded to accommodate a modern tanker, the outside toilet will be refurbished into male and female facilities and our training/meeting room will be expanded to include a kitchen and storage area,” he said.
“The 2019/20 fire season showed just how important a functional station is to the community.
“This will allow us to be better prepared for the future.”
Cessnock MP Clayton Barr said it was a fantastic investment for the courageous and hard-working volunteers.
“Where better for a government to invest than in the NSW RFS,” he stated.
“The $1 million tells us that we had quite a list of things that needed to be done at our various RFS stations.
“I’m sure this funding will allow us to tick a few off that ‘to do’ list.”
Cessnock City mayor Bob Pynsent admitted it was great news for the Lower Hunter NSW RFS and local volunteer brigades.
“The role the RFS plays in our community is absolutely critical,” he said.
“We want to support them in any way we can as they are the first to help us in a crisis.
“The funding means more capacity for larger fire trucks, more volunteers, improved functionality of briefing/training facilities and a safer facility for volunteers.
“This will enable the communities within Cessnock to be better prepared and more resilient to future disasters.”
Upgrades will begin this year and be completed by June 2023.
The project aligns with the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, by improving community resilience to future natural disasters.
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