Martinsville fire station job drags on

SLOW GOING: Building materials lie around the unfinished Martinsville fire station this week. Picture: Jamieson MurphyTHE start of the official bushfire danger period is only six weeks away and Martinsville residents are concerned that completion of their local fire station is being delayed.

In January, the old Martinsville fire station was demolished to make way for a new one.

Construction started and locals were told it would be completed in March/April.

Work has since been delayed for months.

The locals’ concern went into overdrive when smoke from a recent hazard reduction burn drifted into Martinsville.

A spokesperson for Lake Macquarie City Council said the construction was being completed by a contractor who was engaged after consultation with NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).

“[The contractor] has not completed the work on time or to the standards required,” they said.

“Council has been working with the contractor to achieve an outcome that meets the needs of the NSW RFS.”

Internal wall framing and lining, the internal fit out, external paths, and plumbing and electricity connections are yet to be completed at the new station.

A spokesperson for the company contracted to construct the station said there was an explanation for the construction delay that all parties were aware of, but they declined to share it with the Lakes Mail.

“We are making good and rapid progress, and a completion date is imminent,” they said.

Council could not give a completion date for the construction, but said it was working with the contracted company to complete the building before the start of the bushfire season on October 1.

A spokesperson from the NSW RFS Lakes team said the Martinsville Rural Fire Brigade is still fully operational, despite the lack of a fire station.

“Both of the brigade’s fire trucks have been temporarily located off site to a position close to the old station where they are available for the brigade’s members to respond to emergency calls,” they said.

In the case of an emergency there are almost 30 other operational brigades across Lake Macquarie and Wyong local government areas which can be called upon at any time to assist with local incidents.

“We are concerned with the length of time the fire station upgrade project is taking due to unforseen difficulties with the contractor building the new station, but we are working with the contractor and Lake Macquarie City Council to ensure a speedy outcome and resolution.”

The RFS spokesperson said the new station would be far superior to the old one, with twin tanker bays, kitchenette, amenities, storage and multifunctional areas, and a volunteer support office.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.