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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3342

Senator Poyser asked the Minister representing the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice:

(   1 ) Does the Country Fire Authority of Victoria occupy approximately 350 acres of Australian Government land at Fiskville which is within 50 miles of Melbourne, if so, (a) what are the terms of the lease (b) what is the basis of the Authority's requirements for the land and (c) what is the Authority's tenure of the land.

(2)   Is the Authority spending millions of dollars to establish on Australian fovernment land an exclusive type of country club under the guise of establishing a fire fighting training college.

(3)   Have hundreds of thousands of dollars already been expended on the project, if so, for what reason.

(4)   Is the Authority, in establishing a training college at Fiskville, duplicating a highly sophisticated full-time fire fighting training centre in Melbourne, which is available to the Authority for training purposes.

Senator Willesee - The Minister for Services and Property has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Under a Contract of Sale dated 26 March 1971, the former Overseas Telecommunications Commission property comprising approximately 150 hectares (372 acres) was sold to the Country Fire Authority.

The terms of the Contract of Sale give the Country Fire Authority an equitable interest in the property, although the Authority would not become legal owners until the terms of the contract have been met. (i.e. 1981 for final payment).

(   2 ) and ( 3 ) The Training Wing of the Country Fire Authority of Victoria moved to Fiskville in August 1972 and commenced operations in mid September 1972.

Certain building works and renovations of existing buildings have been undertaken by the Country Fire Authority to establish their Training Wing at this site.

Being a Country Authority, the Training Wing had to provide live-in facilities including quarters, dining rooms and kitchens.

The cost of building works and renovations carried out by the Country Fire Authority since they purchased the property, is not readily available.

(4)   The Metropolitan Fire Brigade Melbourne has established a Training College in Melbourne for the training of its officers and firemen.

The facilities provided and the courses undertaken at these two training establishments, are not known in detail, lt is expected that there could be some duplication, but as one is a Metropolitan Brigade and the other mainly rural, and composed of volunteers there will be areas where the training will be quite distinctive.

These two organisations are quite separate and each is responsible for its own training programmes.

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