Cessnock City Council has been successful in securing $1 million, under the NSW Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, to upgrade 11 Rural Fire Service (RFS) Sheds in the Cessnock Local Government Area.
This is welcome news for local RFS personnel, as many of the sheds are in need of an upgrade to better support local volunteers and the work they do in protecting the community.
Bucketty and Laguna RFS have attracted the most funding, between them they’ll undertake major upgrades worth more than $500,000.
Member for Cessnock, Clayton Barr MP said it’s fantastic news and investment for our courageous and hardworking volunteers.
“Where better for a government to invest than in the RFS. The $1 million tells us that we had quite a list of things that needed to be done at our various RFS stations. I’m sure this funding will allow us to tick a few off that ‘to do’ list,” Clayton said.
Cessnock City Mayor Councillor, Bob Pynsent said its great news for the Lower Hunter RFS and local volunteer RFS Brigades.
“The role the RFS plays in our community is absolutely critical. We want to support them in any way we can as they are the first to help us in a crisis,” Bob said.
“The funding means more capacity for larger fire trucks, more volunteers, improved functionality of briefing/training facilities and a safer facility for community volunteers. This will enable the communities within Cessnock to be better prepared and more resilient to future disasters.”
Laguna RFS Captain, Andrew Jones welcomed the funding.
“Our small truck bay will be expanded to accommodate a modern tanker, the outside toilet will be refurbished into male and female toilets and our training/meeting room will be expanded to include a kitchen and storage area,” he said.
“The 2019/20 fire season showed just how important a functional station is to the community. This will allow us to be better prepared for the future.”
North Rothbury, Central Cessnock, Benwerrin, Greta, Kearsley, Mulbring, Neath, Pokolbin, and Quorrobolong RFS sheds will also benefit under the funding.
This project aligns with The National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, by improving community resilience to future natural disasters. Upgrades will begin this year and be completed by June 2023.
IMAGE | Laguna RFS Captain, Andrew Jones, Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr MP, Cessnock City Mayor, Cr Bob Pynsent and Bucketty RFS President Louise Gee pictured in front of the soon to be upgraded shed at Laguna (left-right).
Local government has been in operation in the Cessnock area since 1906 when the Shire of Cessnock held its first meeting. During the following years there were several amalgamations and splits as new Shires were formed and reshaped until Cessnock was declared a City in 1958.
Cessnock City Council provides a diverse range of services and facilities for the residents of the LGA as well as visitors to the area.