Fire station a milestone for Yarloop

David CharlesworthHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Members of the Yarloop Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.
Camera IconMembers of the Yarloop Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. Credit: Haydn Jones

A landmark day in the history of Yarloop arrived on Saturday with the official opening of the Yarloop Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade’s new station.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Darren Clemm, Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan, Harvey shire president Tania Jackson and Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke unveiled the plaque and declared the facility open.

Cr Jackson said funding for the $947,315 station had come from multiple levels of government, industry and the community, including $381,700 from insurance, $50,000 from Alcoa, $351,581 from the WA Local Governments Grant Scheme and the remainder provided by the council.

DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm, Harvey shire president Tania Jackson, Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan and Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke officially open the station.
Camera IconDFES Commissioner Darren Klemm, Harvey shire president Tania Jackson, Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan and Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke officially open the station.

“Seeing that industry, State and local government approach, I think that is why we’ve achieved such a good outcome,” she said.

Cr Jackson said rebuilding the station was the first priority of the community following the 2016 Waroona-Yarloop fires and the official opening was an important milestone.

Former shire councillor Greg Campbell, Harvey chief bushfire control officer and Yarloop volunteer Phil Penny, Cr Michelle Campbell and Yarloop Community Resource Centre manager Julie-ann McMiles.
Camera IconFormer shire councillor Greg Campbell, Harvey chief bushfire control officer and Yarloop volunteer Phil Penny, Cr Michelle Campbell and Yarloop Community Resource Centre manager Julie-ann McMiles. Credit: David Charlesworth

“I think while other smaller buildings have come along and we’ve been able to develop, this is the first major piece of infrastructure and of course the beginning of a number,” she said.

“We’re now seeing multi-million dollars going into infrastructure and this building was $900,000 to develop, so it’s a very good start for Yarloop and this region.”

Councillor Francis Burgoyne, Leschenault Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade captain Mick Papalia, Brunswick Fire and Rescue Brigade secretary Lynda Moore and Councillor Wendy Dickinson.
Camera IconCouncillor Francis Burgoyne, Leschenault Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade captain Mick Papalia, Brunswick Fire and Rescue Brigade secretary Lynda Moore and Councillor Wendy Dickinson.

Brigade acting captain Matt Anzellino said the team had moved in two months ago and was starting to feel at home.

“We’re starting to get into our routines again, starting to feel back at home,” he said.

Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades president Dave Gossage said that for members it was incredibly important to have a home again after the brigade lost its own station while out fighting the fires.

Tracey Penny, of Cookernup, Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades committee member Michael Webster and secretary Lorraine Webster.
Camera IconTracey Penny, of Cookernup, Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades committee member Michael Webster and secretary Lorraine Webster. Credit: David Charlesworth

“From an emotional point of view it gives you a sense of belonging again and it gives you a sense of pride, and in this case a sense of achievement to get where they are,” he said.

Mrs Clarke said the brigade now had some of the finest facilities in the region.

“I’d say that a lot of the other brigades would be envious of the quality of the facilities that they’ve got here but it is well deserved,” Mrs Clarke said.

Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades president Dave Gossage, Murray Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke and Uduc Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade volunteer Brian Bevans.
Camera IconAssociation of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades president Dave Gossage, Murray Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke and Uduc Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade volunteer Brian Bevans.

She said there had been doubt Yarloop would even come back in the immediate aftermath of the fire but now the town was well on its way.

“Every time I drive through here you see another house going up and that’s just a positive sign that the town is slowly rebuilding,” she said.

“To have this facility here, and the quality of facility, just goes to show that Yarloop is here to stay.”

Chief superintendent country south Gary Kennedy, assistant commissioner country Graham Swift and superintendent south west Peter Norman.
Camera IconChief superintendent country south Gary Kennedy, assistant commissioner country Graham Swift and superintendent south west Peter Norman.

Mr Logan said the lessons learnt in Yarloop would be felt throughout the State through the changes at the department and the mitigation efforts.

“This is an example of investment in Yarloop and investment in the future and it is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes,” he said.

“You can see a link and a parallel between not just the Ferguson Report and the experiences that people have had here in Yarloop, but what we’ve done as a Government.”

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