Macarthur firies want new fire station to 'prevent a tragedy'

Macarthur firies held a meeting with the community on the weekend to discuss the need for a new fire station in Oran Park.

The Fire Brigade Employees Union (FBEU) hosted the town hall event at Oran Park Library to answer questions and reach out to the community.

FBEU south west Sydney representative Hewon Parry said the event was kept small due to Covid-19 restrictions, but attendees were passionate about the cause.

"We had some local firies and some residents from newer suburbs like Oran Park and Gregory Hills come along," he said.

"A few of the attendees didn't know how long we'd been asking for this station and they were shocked that we had been calling for it since 2015.

"We haven't had a new station in the Macarthur region for 20 years and we all know how much the area has changed since then.

"We didn't have Spring Farm, Oran Park, Emerald Hills, Gregory Hills, Gledswood Hills, Willowdale or Edmondson Park back then."

The NSW Government promised, back in 2015, that a fire station was coming to Oran Park, and land was set aside.

The Advertiser reported at the time that the build was supposed to cost $4.4 million and be complete by 2018, according to information in the 2015 state Budget.

However, no build has happened at the site in the intervening years.

Mr Parry said fire-fighting resources across the region were 'stretched'.

"Fire and Rescue is the primary service looking after the region so we have Narellan (Fire and Rescue) covering an area halfway to Wollongong, halfway to Liverpool and out to Nattai and Warragamba," he said.

"Response times have definitely gotten longer because it's a larger region to cover.

"Sometimes we have the St Andrews station fighting fires in Oran Park, which is a 17-minute drive. If someone is caught in a house fire, 17 minutes is too long."

Mr Parry said he hoped to see the proposed station built as a matter of urgency.

"As firefighters we don't want the station to built after a tragedy. We have seen stations built in the past after a major tragedy and we don't want that to happen here," he said.

"We want the new station so we can prevent a major tragedy from happening.

"Most of the firies in this region are local, so to us this is personal."

Mr Parry said Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves had been supportive of the push for the Oran Park station to be built.

Mr Sidgreaves told the Advertiser earlier this year that he "absolutely" supported the outcry for a local fire station.

"I am aware that both Camden and Narellan Fire and Rescue NSW [crews] can't attend a large percentage of fires in the Oran Park area [in under the] service level agreement, which is under eight minutes," he said.

"I have been working on this outstanding commitment as a priority. I have already been supporting this and I will continue to do so to ensure the delivery of Oran Park Fire Station.

"I have been in contact with local firefighters and a member of their union."

Mr Sidgreaves said state emergency services minister David Elliott recently went on record to again commit to the build.

"The Minister announced on Channel Nine (recently) that 'construction will commence imminently and we expect it to be finished in two years'," Mr Sidgreaves said.

"I will be endeavouring to ensure this project is completed within that time or preferably sooner."

Mr Parry is urging concerned locals to write to their local member or contact the FBEU for more information about the proposed station.

This story Macarthur firies want new fire station to 'prevent a tragedy' first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.