Plans for Coreen fire station

By Corowa Free Press

It may take up to three years but the 18-active firefighters of Coreen fire brigade will probably have the old Coreen Hall site at 637 Federation Way Coreen as their home, with a brand new fire station.

NSW Rural Fire Service has consulted Crown Lands and was advised before the project can commence the management of the Crown Reserve needs to be under Federation Council as the land manager.

Council unanimously agreed to become the new land manager at its latest monthly meeting on May 19, will formally advise Crown Lands accordingly and refer to the additional purpose suitable to allow the reserve to be used for a fire station.

Southern Border Team Rural Fire Service Superintendent Pat Westwood said there is work towards a number of other new stations.

“Obviously from this stage we’ll be undertaking some formal bidding and development plans including DAs etcetera,” he told The Free Press.

“A key player is Local Government and council agreeing to take on the role of land manager makes the pathway a lot quicker. We’d expect within the next three years the shed will be erected.”

Mr Westwood said brigades are the lifeblood of communities. “Coreen has become quite a large area and the shed will ensure trucks and gear will be kept at a standard in a facility. Like most brigades, members are farming families.”

Building of fire stations tend to promote membership according to the superintendent. “Often with brigade trucks on farms there can be some barriers attending other people’s property,” Mr Westwood said.

NSW Rural Fire Service’s Coreen unit captain Paul Carroll said having a station would be good and somewhere to have meetings. 

“We have 18 active firefighting members out of a total of 40 members,” the captain of three years and member for 30 years who joined at aged 16-years, said.

“It will also be somewhere to house our two trucks out of the weather during winter.” 

Council is the custodian of many Rural Fire assets including sheds of brigades.  Maintenance of the facilities is undertaken by the brigades and Rural Fire Service with funding allocations provided by the state.

Federation Council’s director development and environmental services Susan Appleyard said the RFS has an allocation of $8000 in the current year’s funding allocation. 

“Council’s finance manager has had discussions with the RFS and they intend to seek $150,000 in the 2020/21 Allocations in order to build the facility,” she said.