Fire centre shortlist

By Chris Thomson | posted on January 10, 2019

A SHORTLIST of bids for a State bushfire centre of excellence that a troika of Great Southern councils has applied to host has been finalised for Cabinet consideration.

The first edition of a newsletter of DFES’ recently formed rural fire division reports that a selection panel has “reviewed and submitted shortlisted local governments to Government for final determination”.

It was recently revealed here that Albany, Denmark and Plantagenet had jointly lodged a proposal to host the centre (‘Centre shot fired’, 15 November), but that competition would be hot.

Now, The Weekender has asked DFES which local governments have been shortlisted, on what date was the shortlist submitted to the Government, whether shortlisted local governments have been advised, and whether DFES had anything else to add.

In response, DFES said: “details of the recommendations to Government regarding the Bushfire Centre of Excellence are subject to Cabinet in Confidence”.

“A decision will be announced in due course,” the response concluded.

The City of Albany said it had not been advised whether it, Denmark and Plantagenet had made the shortlist.

On the Friday before Christmas Eve, DFES released a report prepared on September 26 into circumstances that led to the escapes of planned burns in the Great Southern and Southwest in May 2018.

The report says the centre of excellence will provide “an opportunity to achieve improved bushfire risk management outcomes for Western Australia”.

“Opportunities for locally-delivered training for local people, including volunteers, state and local government employees and Aboriginal Ranger Trainees are being explored through DFES and the Bushfire Centre of Excellence,” the report continues.