Member for Ripon Louise Staley has called on the Andrews Government to urgently reverse its decision of pulling the Erickson Skycrane out from its summer base at Ballarat Airport and relocating it to Melbourne.
The Andrews Government recently confirmed its plans to move the 7500 litre Erickson Air-Crane from the Ballarat Airport to Moorabbin Airport.
Last Week Shadow Emergency Services Minister Brad Battin joined Louise Staley at the Ballarat Airport to meet with concerned emergency service personnel including Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Board Member Mick Nunweek.
Ms Staley said that with recent heavy rains and a dangerous fire season being forecast for Western Victoria, the Skycrane needed should stay in Ballarat.
"Ballarat Airport is a key strategic location as it is close to the Grampians, the Otways, the Pyrenees and other fire-prone areas across Western Victoria." Ms Staley said.
"The Skycrane is much more valuable being located in Ballarat rather than in Moorabbin which has sprawling city on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other."
"This decision has been openly criticised by local emergency services, they don’t see the value in moving the Skycrane out of Ballarat."
"Recent forecast ahead of the upcoming fire season and the most fire-prone areas are in Western Victoria with Ballarat in the thick of it of it, the Skycrane should not have to waste time by flying from Moorabbin which is not in a fire prone area."
"Daniel Andrews relationship with volunteer firefighters is pretty toxic, however, he should be listening to the men and women who