Collie is the new home of a $13.4 million emergency services facility that will manage complex emergencies in the South-West and create jobs and bring visitors to the area.
The Koolinup Emergency Services Centre (ESC) will be a base for an emergency driving training school for DFES staff and emergency service volunteers – to support the State’s high-season firefighting vehicle fleet.
The multipurpose facility will also function as the State’s first regionally based Level 3 Incident Control Centre during major emergencies, including bushfires, in the South-West.
Construction of the centre created 130 jobs in the region, with the contract awarded to Bunbury-based construction company Perkins Builders, which also sourced about 70 per cent of the building materials, contractors and supply chains from Collie and South-West based businesses.
Koolinup ESC underpins the State Government’s investment in Collie’s transformation into an emergency services vehicle manufacturing hub.
Frontline Fire & Rescue Service is soon to open a state-of-the-art facility opposite Koolinup ESC to manufacture a new generation of modern firefighting appliances – awarded contracts valued at $125 million.
This is in addition to a $47.5 million contract awarded to WA-based Technifire to build up to 300 new firefighting vehicles, with Collie fabricator Piavanini Welding to complete 40 per cent of the work on the body assembly.
Also located in the Collie Light Industrial Area is South West Fire, which is contracted to provide repairs and maintenance on DFES’ high-fire season fleet. This fleet is moved across the State to support local firefighters for their respective fire seasons.
The name Koolinup is deeply rooted to the history of the area, meaning ‘place to swim’ in the Wilman dialect of the Bibbulmun Nation.
The town of Collie has traditionally been a significant swimming, camping and food gathering area for the local people of the Beeliargu Wilman tribe.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Collie is a vibrant and connected community with a proud history of powering Western Australia, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of a diversified economy as the State Government continues to invest in projects and services.
“The State Government is committed to supporting Collie’s transition away from emissions-intensive industries and this new facility is an important chapter in our plan to creating a strong future for the town.
“This is an important milestone for Collie and for the State, and I would like to thank the community, local government and businesses for their support.”
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby:
“This centre will provide a massive boost to emergency services in the South-West. The Level 3 Incident Control Centre is the first of its kind in regional WA, bringing together aviation and logistics so large incidents can be managed in Collie.
“The facility was put to the test during the recent State Bushfire Exercise and I was impressed to see it transform into a hub for emergency response.
“The centre will also be a base for emergency driver training to equip first-responders with the skills to navigate hazardous situations – helping to improve their safety and the safety of the community.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:
“Collie and the South-West have experienced several bushfire emergencies in recent years and having our own Level 3 Incident Control Centre right here in the region will provide a massive boost to our ability to respond to similar threats in the future.
“This new state-of-the-art facility has already created so many jobs during the construction phase, and now that it is officially open it will be great to see an influx of visitors come to Collie and see what the region has to offer.
“A highlight of the facility is the name gifted from the Beeliargu Wilman tribe and we are honoured to celebrate the rich history and culture of the traditional owners who have cared for this land for tens of thousands of years.”