A new multipurpose Department of Fire and Emergency Services facility will be built in Collie to stimulate the local job economy and ensure the South West has the best resources to best manage large-scale bushfires.
The new $8 million facility will include a level three Incident Control Centre, Emergency Driver Training School, and regional fleet maintenance and management services.
The premier Mark McGowan, along with Minister for Emergency Services Francis Logan, and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, made the announcement in Collie on Thursday, March 28.
The facility will support career and volunteer emergency services personnel, including firefighters and SES in Collie and the South-West region, and about 12 full-time workers will be based at the centre.
Premier Mark McGowan said the facility would be a strong confident boost for the town and would provide the best support for firefighters in the South West.
"As we know bushfire threats in the South West are very significant and we rely on our volunteers, our permanent firefighter, and also staff from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions to deal with these incidents, along with local government," he said.
"We want to make sure we have the best training, the best maintenance and the best incident control facilities we can and that's why we are going to construct this new facility here in Collie.
"This will create additional jobs for the Collie community and will send a strong message that Collie is here to stay and this community is here for the long term."
The Emergency Driver Training School will provide emergency response driver training to keep volunteer firefighters safe on the roads.
In addition, it will allow other emergency services personnel to undertake essential emergency driver training.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said the additional training that was announced would attract a significant amount of people to conduct training.
"A four-wheel-drive and emergency service personnel driver training centre is great," he said.
"That centre is not just for emergency service workers or volunteers, it's for career firefighters, it's for parks and wildlife, and other government agencies.
"The emergency driver training aspect of the centre will also be a considerable boost to not only the town, but for communities throughout the South-West."
A new regional fleet maintenance and management presence was also announced and will support the relocation of up to 70 of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services' high fire season fleet to Collie.
Management of this fleet will include storage and maintaining fleet readiness, planning and management of fleet deployment, managing and maintaining the vehicles used by the driving school, and managing emergency replacement for damaged appliances in the South-West.
Mr logan said he was very pleased to see the maintenance for the high-season fire fleet relocate to the South West.
"The town already has a history of servicing and fitting out fire appliances, and this decision recognises the skills and expertise in the town," he said.
The facility will also host hands-on bushfire mitigation training, including practical application, as part of the new Bushfire Centre of Excellence.
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the government has been listening to the cries to establish new industries in town.
"It is very vital to have this facility right in the middle of the forest in the South West. It is very strategically placed and I think it will be very well utilised," he said.
"To the people of Collie, we are listening and we are working towards a new future for Collie."