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New fire rules could cost $100,000

The Lockington and District Living Heritage Complex machinery room doesn't meet safety requirement brought in after the Black Saturday bushfires Royal Commission.

ELAINE COONEY April 10, 2014 3:10am

Campaspe Shire is in talks with the Lockington and District Living Heritage Complex committee of management about non-compliance with building code fire safety requirements.

Campaspe Shire service executive manager Paul McKenzie said council had been working with the committee for the past year after buildings on the site were found to not comply.

The building is council owned and managed by a committee of volunteers.

Committee member Joe Chappel said complying with regulations in the machinery room could amount to $100,000.

‘‘It would take an enormous amount of infrastructure to bring it up to standard,’’ he said.

Mr Chappel said new fire regulations came into force after the Black Saturday fires.

He said the machinery room, which stored old tractors and engines, used to be a chook shed and was demolished and rebuilt in 2003.

Mr Chappel said each step of the planning and construction had been done through council.

‘‘We drew up plans and sent it to council,’’ he said.

‘‘The whole thing was done under council supervision.’’

He said council was working closely with the group to resolve the issues.

Councillor Greg Toll said the machinery building was too big to fall into the usual CFA requirements so needed extra measures.

Cr Toll said he had been involved with the project since 1996 and was disappointed it was running into difficulties.

‘‘We will work out the best way to handle this but we are looking for value for money,’’ he said.

Cr Toll said the community and council would need to ensure it was a priority before parting with money.

Cr Toll said the community worked hard to have the shed operational, but also understood the change in the health and safety requirements.

‘‘It does house a lot of old machinery and serves a very good purpose,’’ he said.

When asked if any of the building extensions were carried out without the appropriate permit or planning permission by council, he replied: ‘‘All works were well and truly approved and supported by council and the community’’.

Mr McKenzie said an operating plan was being developed to ensure risks to the public and volunteers were minimised, as well as ensuring the centre remained open to the public.

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