Fleet to be serviced in Collie

South West Fire director Colin Giles, DFES superintendent South West Peter Norman, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, and South West Fire mechanic Alex Henke. Photo: Supplied
South West Fire director Colin Giles, DFES superintendent South West Peter Norman, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, and South West Fire mechanic Alex Henke. Photo: Supplied

Local company South West Fire has won the contract to service a large part of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services' firefighting fleet, which was relocated to Collie last week.

The company has been in the fire industry for 25 years and employs 18 staff in the Collie area.

South West Fire director Colin Giles said it was great to have secured the contract because it would provide local employment.

But he said the company also needed more sustainable long-term work.

"I would like to thank DFES and the government for bringing this work to Collie," he said.

"We would love to see the government build on the work that they've brought to Collie with long-term contracts for long-term employment so we can keep everyone employed."

Mr Giles said the short-term contract to service the fleet was great for Collie and for other local people and businesses in town.

"It will save jobs," Mr Giles said.

"Without this work that is being led, we would have lost a significant amount of our employees.

"Of (our) 18 employees, there's a significant amount that we are keeping employed for the short-term because this work is short-term."

Moving the majority of the fleet is the first step in the plan to establish an $8 million bushfire multipurpose facility in Collie, which was announced by the McGowan Government in March.

The facility will include an Incident Control Centre, Emergency Driver Training School, and fleet management services.

The funding comes from the latest $60 million Industry Attraction and Development Fund, which includes funding that was set aside for solar and biomass projects but was unable to be used because of a lack of interest from industry.

DFES Superintendent South West Peter Norman, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray and South West Fire mechanic Alex Henke. Photo: Supplied

DFES Superintendent South West Peter Norman, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray and South West Fire mechanic Alex Henke. Photo: Supplied

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said the awarding of the contract to South West Fire was a recognition of the skills and experience of the Collie workforce.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to relocate part of the high-fire season fleet maintenance to Collie to help with local jobs," he said.

"Some of the appliances that will be serviced in Collie will be used for the Emergency Driver Training School, which is one of the first steps towards the establishment of this new facility."

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray welcomed the announcement.

"As a local company, South West Fire do an incredible job employing Collie locals, particularly in regards to taking on young apprentices, providing first-class job training to the next working generation," he said.

The fleet will be serviced and repaired, with minor body work and essential checking, testing and inspection of vehicles and equipment being conducted.

The firefighting fleet that has been deployed to high-bushfire-risk areas throughout the South-West and Great Southern over the summer is due to be serviced and repaired before some appliances are deployed back to the Kimberley and Pilbara for the bushfire season.

Some of the fleet will also be kept for use by the Emergency Driver Training School when it's established.