Rural brigade seeks help to find new home
PETER Thomasson stands on a hill overlooking a vacant block of land at The Caves and he sees opportunity.
Fortunately for him and his colleagues at the Wattlebank Rural Fire Brigade, so does Livingstone Shire Council.
The local government authority is in the process of assisting Wattlebank to find a new base - one that it can truly call its own.
Currently the brigade operates out of a shed on private property at Dry Weather Rd, The Caves.
This presents a number of challenges so, with the council’s help, the small and little-known brigade has identified a parcel of public land off Rossmoya Road at The Caves where it could build its new headquarters.
“We mentioned it to (Mayor) Bill Ludwig at a public meeting at The Caves a few months ago and he said he would support it,” said Mr Thomasson, a Wattlebank firey of three decades.
“The very next day he called us and arranged to come out here and meet with us.”
Mr Thomasson said apart from the logistics, the brigade having its own headquarters on public land would be a huge boost.
“It will give the brigade a sense of belonging,” Mr Thomasson said.
“As you’re probably aware, it’s hard to get young people involved now.
“The average age of our members is probably 65.”
Wattlebank Rural Fire Brigade chairman Jeff Pershouse also supports the move.
“It will be a great advantage not being on private property,” he said.
“We have biosecurity and access issues with private property.
“It’s not good for the property owners to have people coming onto their land all the time, and likewise I think most people don’t feel comfortable going onto others’ property as well.”