I am always pleased to work with and on behalf of fire brigades on the Bellarine. We have great brigades providing great services, from our volunteers to our career staff, who all work very closely together to protect the local community of Bellarine from fire and other disasters.

It was a pleasure in recent weeks to have had the opportunity to visit both the Mannerim and Portarlington brigades. At Mannerim I handed over the keys to their new 1400‑litre tanker to brigade captain Stephen Beasley and brigade manager Andrew Longmore. Funding for the tanker came via the state government program, with an extraordinary $36 000 raised by the local brigade, just showing the extent of the community’s support for this brigade. To all the members of Mannerim, I say thank you for your work on behalf of the Bellarine community.

On Monday in Portarlington I had the pleasure of turning the sod of the new station that will replace the previous station built back in 1959. The new station is thanks to the ongoing hard work and commitment of the local brigade members, together with a $2.1 million grant from the state government. It will include three drive‑through bays, a modern workshop, change rooms, meeting and training rooms and district offices. Now that the construction is underway the brigade will be rehoused in its new premises by July this year. Congratulations to all involved, particularly captain Darren Nisbet and Bellarine operations officer Ian Beswicke. The Country Fire Authority in Portarlington have served the community for 70 years.