The Newrybar Fire Brigade is in urgent need of new premises.
At last week’s meeting of Ballina Shire Council, councillors requested staff prepare a report on options for the purchase or lease of land that will suitably accommodate a new Rural Fire Service shed in Newrybar.
The brigade has received funding for a bigger tanker but the current shed is too small to fit the truck. The shed also lacks basic amenities such as toilets and a meeting space.
The Newrybar Rural Fire Brigade has been part of the Newrybar village for 31 years; this is where the Brigade’s core membership live. It is run entirely by volunteers and services an area from St Helena down the highway to Ross Lane, across to Tintenbar, Teven and Eltham.
‘Even though the Newrybar site is up the north end of the service area, we can get down the highway reasonably quickly,’ Newrybar’s captain Darren Bailey told Echonetdaily.
Council has looked at 11 sites, which have all been discounted, and a site at Tintenbar is now being assessed. The current Newrybar site is in a water catchment area so there are particular issues with sewerage and grey water, which add further costs to its budget.
In 2010, $237,000 was allocated for a new station or upgrade, which Darren said was enough for the type of station that they were after. He is concerned that if nothing is done shortly the money might be lost.
‘Newrybar may be a forgotten outpost, but the village is really coming ahead. The more people that are coming through there will obviously increase the risk of fire,’ he said.
‘Volunteers keep this vital service going,’ Darren told the council. ‘Without adequate basic amenities it proves difficult to retain them.’