3 February 2022

Plans for Moruya fire control centre raise concerns in Bega

| Albert McKnight
Join the conversation

Delegates attended the Eurobodalla when the NSW Government announced $15 million for a new hub at Moruya in January. Photo: NSW RFS Facebook.

The announcement of millions of dollars in funding for a fire control centre (FCC) in Moruya has caused concern in the Bega Valley, particularly in the wake of the Black Summer bushfires that saw communications breakdowns impact firefighting capabilities when the disastrous flames hit the region.

However, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has reassured the community the investment will not result in any reduction of services in the Bega Valley.

In January, the NSW Government announced it would invest $15 million into an emergency operations centre (EOC) and FCC at Moruya.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the town’s existing centre was long past its use-by date.

“The development of a new centre answers one of the vital priorities identified in the NSW Bushfire Inquiry,” he said.

After the announcement, Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said council understood the need to invest in the Eurobodalla, but was “perplexed” as to why the funding was attached to a new FCC in Moruya.

The Bega Valley has a dedicated, functioning control centre, he said, and for the past two years council had been working with the RFS to secure land adjacent to the Bega Saleyards and the Princes Highway for a new centre.

There is a site and a tenure deed sitting with the RFS, he said.

READ ALSO Publicity boost for local museums hosting ‘treasures’ like Gallipoli flag

“A fire control centre in Moruya may mean a shift of resources out of the Bega Valley and into Eurobodalla,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“During the Black Summer bushfires, we experienced communication breakdowns and other disconnections when the RFS tried to manage the Bega Valley fires remotely from Eurobodalla. It was not a success.”

In response to questions, a NSW RFS spokesperson said the announcement of a new FFC and EOC in Moruya would “not mean any reduction of services in the Bega Valley Shire”.

“The RFS is also committed to working with Bega Valley Shire Council to relocate the Jellat Brigade,” the spokesperson said.

“It is envisaged that a three-bay station and associated support facilities for the brigade will be integrated with fire control facilities similar to what currently exist in Bega, including operational, training and staff support facilities.

“This will provide for flexibility during operations, local interaction during major incidents and provide ongoing engagement with members and the community.”

READ ALSO Disaster recovery grants to help keep flooded Mogo businesses above water

They said the RFS Far South Coast team would continue to work across both the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shires supporting the community and local brigades.

Mr Fitzpatrick also called on the NSW Government and all candidates in the upcoming byelection to commit to retaining existing levels of RFS staff and investing in the expansion of a proven fire control centre in the Bega Valley.

“It is important any investment in Eurobodalla is not to the detriment of the vital emergency services within the Bega Valley,” he said.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

And whose asset will it be and who will have to carry the depreciation costs on their books?

Creature Comforts on the Coast4:25 pm 04 Feb 22

Since the amalgamation of the Eurobodalla & Bega Valley Rural Fire Districts, resources e.g. staff, vehicles & equipment have been taken from the Eurobodalla district to Bega. A new Eurobodalla Fire Control Centre has been planned and some funding secured and carried over for over 20years. Within that time Bega Valley Fire Control Centre has been renovated twice; Eurobodalla Fire Control Centre is built in a flood zone, is on the second floor of an old building that has multi levels within it from old renovations whick would be illegal these days – no disabled access (most of it’s volunteers that assist at the Euro FCC are older and struggle to access the building). The Euro FCC was also the Emergency Management Centre until around 2014 which is a joke as built on a flood zone.
This article about Bega Valley being disadvantaged by a new Emergency Operations Centre in Moruya is hypocritical.

Isabel Robinson9:12 am 04 Feb 22

It’s patently obvious, looking at where money is being spent in this electorate, that the former member and the current candidate for the Liberal Party are focussed on the north. Any trip up the highway will attest to that.

Shirley Edwards2:57 pm 03 Feb 22

you have to be joking, Bega has had more then a fair share of funds spread it around

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.