Security concerns prompt calls for upgrade to Mooroopna Fire Station

By Madeleine Byron

Mooroopna Fire Station could be in for a $50,000 security upgrade to meet with CFA health and safety obligations.

The proposed project will include a security fence with a single pedestrian gate and sliding automated vehicle access gate, constructed to the same standard as the Shepparton Fire Station setup.

Mooroopna Fire Brigade 1st Lieutenant Warren Cartwright said the security fence was one of many upgrades needed at the station.

“We’re doing a number of things including the installment of an external light that is always on, we will be upgrading our alarm system and then the next step will be to construct a security compound,” Mr Cartwright said.

He said the station had been subject to several incidents requiring police attendance in the past 18 months.

“Recently there was a break-in over Easter where two people stole a number of items from the station and prior to that we have had people loitering trying to steal number plates,” he said.

Mr Cartwright said he had been approached while attending a shift in the early hours of the morning.

“Someone approached me in the car park — they had a concealed knife and were also possibly drug affected,” he said.

“There is definitely a need for the security upgrade.”   

Speaking during an adjournment debate in Victorian Parliament, State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said the project should not be subject to a grant application nor should the brigade be expected to fund the construction.

“The volunteers at the Mooroopna fire station do a wonderful job but they currently work in a station that provides them no personal security or secure parking for their vehicles,” Ms Lovell said.

 “That is why I have asked the minister to commit funding for the construction of a secure fence around the car park of the Mooroopna fire brigade consisting of a single pedestrian gate and sliding automated vehicle access gate, to the same standard as the security fence at the Shepparton station.”