A funding shortfall for the Mid Murray Zone Rural Fire Service has forced the organisation to shelve plans for a new Jerilderie fire station in the next financial year.December 19, 2012 4:19am
The Jerilderie RFS was hoping to receive $320,000 from the NSW Government’s Rural Firefighting Fund.
It instead received only a little more than $189,000.
While disappointed to be unable to proceed with plans for the Jerilderie Station, Mid Murray Zone RFS manager Lindsay Lashbrook said the funding would still allow for four other new stations to be built in the next financial year.
Brand new single bay stations will be built at Nyora, Yooroobla and South Coree, costing $50,000 each.
Of the 2012/13 funding allocation, another $20,000 will be added to funds held over from previous years to build a double bay station at Booroobanilly.
The remaining $19,000 will be left in the kitty as a starting point for the Jerilderie station.
The project has been shelved for at least a year, with the RFS and Jerilderie Shire Council confirming they will ask for a further $300,000 for the project in the 2013/14 round of funding bids.
The real amount of funding allocated, however, will not be known until December next year.
Superintendent Lashbrook said it was not uncommon for larger stations, like the one planned for Jerilderie, to take a number of years to begin.
He said the RFS had to wait five years to collect the $500,000 it needed to build the new four-bay station at the Deniliquin airport.
He said the station planned for Jerilderie would be slightly smaller, providing three tanker bays, a training room and kitchen and other staff and volunteer facilities.
Design plans for the new station are being completed.
In the meantime, Supt Lashbrook said work would start on the other four planned stations in the Jerilderie Shire Council area in coming months.
‘‘The four projects we will proceed with in 2013/14 will provide stations for those towns for the first time,’’ he said.
‘‘At the moment, our tankers in those areas are parked in farmers’ sheds.
‘‘That is why these stations were given priority.
‘‘There is already a station in Jerilderie, however we know it is not quite big enough.’’
Supt Lashbrook said it was a focus of the Mid Murray Zone RFS to build stations in the Southern Riverina region, rather than requesting funding for new tankers.
Funding arrangements for the RFS are split between government levels, with Jerilderie Shire Council providing 11.7 per cent of the funding allocated to the Jerilderie RFS.
Jerilderie Shire Council has been appointed project manager for the new stations.
Council general manager Craig Moffitt said it was exciting to be seeing so many new stations being built in the local area.
‘‘This is another example of Lindsay’s management,’’ he said.
‘‘At long last we are getting some pleasing results.’’
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