Swan Hills MLA backs inquiry into South-West bushfires


Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban with firefighters from Wooroloo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.
Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban with firefighters from Wooroloo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

SWAN Hills MLA Frank Alban is backing a recommendation of the inquiry into last year’s Shire of Harvey and Waroona bushfires that killed two people and destroyed 166 homes in Yarloop.

He said a Rural Fire Service would be a positive step towards supporting volunteer firefighters and building community resilience.

The Swan Hills electorate is home to 12 volunteer bush fire brigades including Bullsbrook, Chidlow, East Gidgegannup, East Swan, Glen Forrest, Mount Helena, Mundaring, Parkerville, Sawyers Valley, Stoneville, West Gidgegannup, Wooroloo and the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades WA.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the Rural Fire Service would be independent and report directly to the Minister for Emergency Services, and work collaboratively with the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner.

Premier Colin Barnett said the area identified as the preferred location for the rural headquarters and training facility was the South-West town of Collie, considered at greater risk of bushfire devastation.

“It is also in close proximity to a large pool of bushfire volunteers, Department of Parks and Wildlife staff and bushfire-prone local authorities,” he said.