The McGowan Government has committed to building a new modern emergency services training academy to replace the aging Forrestfield facility.
More than $2 million has been allocated in this year’s State Budget to explore options for a new emergency services training academy for Western Australia and detailed project planning.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services will investigate possible designs, locations, costs and timeframes to build a state-of-the-art facility to help train emergency services officers to deal with an increasing range of emergencies and natural hazards.
Since the current training academy was built in the early 1980s, DFES’ responsibilities have expanded to include emergency management and responding to a variety of natural hazards.
The new training academy would help ensure Western Australian emergency services are prepared to respond to the ever-changing infrastructure throughout Perth and the regions including complex structure fires, transport tunnel incidents, and structural collapses.
The business case would also investigate the use of the training academy by other emergency management agencies for their operational training.
Detailed stakeholder consultation will be undertaken with career firefighters, emergency services volunteers, emergency services associations and unions, and other emergency services partners.
The new training academy follows the creation of an Australian-first Bushfire Centre of Excellence in Nambeelup, which is expected to be open by the end of 2020.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“The McGowan Government has invested significantly in our State’s emergency services since taking office and this new training academy is another example of our commitment to getting the best for our emergency services.
“The first step is the business case, which will assess the timing, location, costs and other matters, but this is an exciting development and will make a significant difference to how our emergency services are trained.
“The existing facility at Forrestfield was built in the early 1980s when Perth and the surrounding suburbs and regions had less density and infrastructure.
“We now have traffic and rail tunnels, significantly more high-rise buildings and climate change is affecting the intensity and frequency of bushfires and causing issues with flooding.
“A new training academy will help to ensure our emergency services responders have state-of-the-art facilities to enable them to train and prepare for the growing frequency and severity of modern-day emergencies.
“DFES’ responsibilities have also increased substantially since the current training academy was built in the 1980s.
“The new training academy will enhance the State’s ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies, helping to keep the WA community safe.”