Joint approach to protect Splitters Creek from fire danger

Splitters Creek RFS deputy captain David Ryan and captain Ian Avage preparing for the fire season in 2013. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Splitters Creek RFS deputy captain David Ryan and captain Ian Avage preparing for the fire season in 2013. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

ONE of Albury’s highest fire-risk areas has been made safer, thanks to a partnership between the Splitters Creek fire brigade and the Albury Council.

The volunteer brigade has been lobbying the council to improve fire-fighting capacity in the semi-rural area — the eastern end of Bretton Road is seen as the most vulnerable.

Providing firefighting services is a state responsibility, but the council provides more than $150,000 a year.

Council also recently gave the Splitters Creek community $300,000 for a fire station and community hall and built a turnaround area for trucks.

Brigade members also lobbied the mayor, Cr Kevin Mack, and deputy mayor, Cr Henk van de Ven, this year for further improvements.

The brigade and the council will jointly pay for an off-road parking bay for fire trucks to enter and fill from a standpipe at the intersection of Bretton Road and Barwonga Drive — about three kilometres from the nearest standpipe.

The site needs major earth-works and a private water system had to be extended about 40 metres.

The cost was expected to be $60,000, but brigade members and council have struck a deal that has reduced that to $40,000.

The brigade’s responsibilities include providing most of the fill material and doing all plumbing works, including approvals, materials and construction of the pipeline and standpipe.

That work is expected to cost about $20,000.

The same amount of money from the council will cover the cost of placing and compacting fill material, providing crushed rock for the hard-stand area and seeking all environmental approvals for the project. The council’s contribution has come from the 2014-15 community fund, approved in its recent draft budget.

The Splitters Creek community hall and fire shed was opened in 2012.

The centre was built on land donated to the council with money to build it provided by the council.

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