FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: The proposed area for a new fire/ambulance station. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: The proposed area for a new fire/ambulance station. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

New emergency services station stalemate

A NEW Emergency services hub in Bundaberg that was due to be decided on in April remains at a standstill as the state government, Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service remain locked in a stalemate as to its location.

The combined station was proposed for Queensland Ambulance Services and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services at the corner of Wilmington St and Wyllie St, with the final decision to be handed down on April 7 of this year. The decision has not yet been made.

The NewsMail was alerted to the proposal after a letter was handed into the office anonymously this week outlining the details of why the station should not go ahead.

A QAS spokesperson said following the flood event in Bundaberg in early 2013, the former State Government announced a co-located ambulance and fire facility would be built outside the flood zone.

"The Wyllie Street site has been deemed suitable for a co-located ambulance and fire facility by both services," the spokesperson said.

"The project is currently in the concept design phase. Once completed, the new co-located stations will provide both services with modern facilities that will better meet their current and future operational needs and ensure they can deliver efficient and effective emergency services to the local community."

According to State Secretary of United Fire fighters Union Queensland John Oliver, local fire fighters are not in agreement with the proposed site.

"Fire fighters have raised concerns about the placing of the fire station at Wyllie St. They believe the response times over the north side will be diminished and is not in the best interest of the community," he said.

"Furthermore, the preferred option is the old showgrounds where it is flood free. It is a logical option and should be considered before any further expenditure of the project occurs."

"There are also concerns with the residential location of the proposed Wyllie St station located next to schools and school zones."

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said a decision about the proposal had not yet been made due to the need for further consultation with stakeholders and the controversy surrounding the new station.

"The controversy was the residents were not consulted and the previous minister left the situation in such a mess that this government has had to go back and review and make sure proper consultation has been held," she said.

Ms Donaldson said the move to amalgamate the two emergency services into the one station was due to the current fire station in Woongarra St being too old and small.

"It is no longer able to service the needs of the fire service and the community," she said.

When the NewsMail asked why the new area on the corner of Wilmington and Wyllie St had been proposed, Ms Donaldson was unaware of the reasons.

"We don't know because we haven't been able to get to the bottom of the mess left by the previous government," she said.



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