The decision by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to build a new Fire Control Centre within Hilltops Council is a significant win for the region, and is one that demonstrates confidence in the area’s future, Council General Manager Anthony McMahon said.
Following an extensive assessment process, the RFS has now selected a site in Harden for the South West Slopes Fire District’s new combined Fire Control Centre and Regional Office.
“The new Fire Control Centre, which replaces the existing facility in Harden, will be built on a site adjoining the race track. It will provide a centrally located, state-of-the-art facility for the management and control of fires across the region,” Mr McMahon said.
“The new facility is something that local staff and volunteers of the RFS have been looking forward to for some time, and is one that will serve our local communities for many years to come,” he said.
Mr McMahon explained the RFS’s decision on the site of the new facility was made following changes to the South West Slopes Fire District boundary.
“The boundary was changed to incorporate Gundagai and its surrounds, so geographically, the new Harden facility will be at the approximate centre of the Fire District,” Mr McMahon said.
“Retaining the Fire Control Centre was obviously important for the region, so this decision is certainly very welcome news,” he said.
Mr McMahon said now that the site has been selected, the RFS will shift their focus to planning and pre-construction work.
“Council expects to meet with the RFS in coming weeks to get a better understanding of how the project will be managed moving forward, and when we can expect construction to begin,” Mr McMahon said.