After years operating out of Tallangatta’s old police station, residence and court house – with their depot hundreds of metres away – the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is upgrading to new $10.3 milllion facility.
DELWP Forest Fire Management’s regional manager Aaron Kennedy said the new building would bring their offices and the depot together under one roof, allowing for increased efficiency.
“It’s a fantastic announcement for Fire Forest Management Victoria, local staff and it’s a great announcement for the community,” he said.
“This will see DELWP embedded in the community for another 40 or 50 years, which is fantastic given we employ so many staff from the area.”
In announcing the plan on Wednesday, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the facility would streamline operations and improve services, including Fire Forest Management’s ability to respond to fires.
She said Victorian government funded project would construct new depot sheds and infrastructure, improve health and safety requirements, and boost the region’s economy.
Towong Shire mayor Aaron Scales said council had received the planning permit and would be advertising the plans in coming days.
He said the construction phase would create jobs in the region.
“We’re very supportive of the announcement, it's a fantastic facility to have in Tallangatta,” Cr Scales said.
Once open, 24 existing DELWP staff, 15 forest and fire officers and project fire fighters will transfer to the facility, as well as staff from Parks Victoria who share the current offices.
Mr Kennedy said the amalgamation of staff into one building would benefit the region and the employees.
“There are two main benefits to the community, it guarantees employment for locals since a lot of our permanent and contracted staff are from the area,” he said.
“Secondly the community will see improved response times and the co-ordinating of emergency responses in the summer and the rest of the year.”
This will see DELWP embedded in the community for another 40 or 50 years.Aaron Kennedy
Mr Kennedy said the new building would incorporate an incident control centre to centralise emergency responses.
He said there would also be a meeting room available for the community to use.
Ms Symes said a proposed greenfield site provides scope for future expansion.
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