BELLARINE ELECTORATE FIRE BRIGADES

I am pleased to be able to work closely with and on behalf of our dedicated Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades right across the Bellarine — like earlier this year, presenting the keys for the new tanker at Mannerim and turning the first sod for a new station at Portarlington. It was with the same pride that I recently announced significant funding for upgrades at both the Leopold and St Leonards brigades.

At Leopold on Monday, 7 May, it was great to meet up with a number of local CFA volunteer members to announce funding of $800 000 for the redevelopment of this very proud station. Leopold has seen significant growth in both population and infrastructure over recent years and as such the station is now very much in need of redevelopment. I take this opportunity to acknowledge all members of the Leopold fire brigade, led by Captain Ashley Browne, and thank them for their committed and untiring efforts in protecting their local and wider community.

Following on from Leopold, last Monday, 4 June, I was pleased to visit the St Leonards station to announce $800 000 for the redevelopment of that station. The current station no longer meets the needs of the St Leonards and Indented Head communities, which are growing and which, of course, double in size over the summer period. The volunteers at St Leonards fire brigade, led by Captain Niki Habibis, have a proud and long history of responding to emergencies and keeping people safe. I congratulate all the St Leonards members for their dedicated and untiring work, and I am very pleased to work with them on building a new state‑of‑the art facility, which is well‑deserved by that community and those volunteers.