The construction of a new state-of-the-art bushfire training and research centre in the Peel region is underway, with hopes the facility will be completed by the end of 2020.
In March, the state government announced the new $18 million Australian-first Bushfire Centre of Excellence would be based on Lakes Road, falling into the Shire of Murray.
The facility will be a training hub for firefighters and provide space for research and development, with establishing Western Australia as a national and international leader in fire mitigation the ultimate goal.
Stakeholders in the project congregated in Pinjarra on Friday, July 5 to get an update on the centre.
WA emergency services minister Francis Logan was in attendance and said it was exciting to get the project started.
"It is well underway - the electrics are in and the earthworks are being done - it's great," he said.
"There will be quite a number of jobs at the centre - they will be made up of people that will transfer and new jobs available for locals as well.
"This could be a facility that will attract significant attraction from around the country. The type of training practices and research and development done there will lift the level of skills for fire management and mitigation practices to a whole new level.
"This will really focus the nation's attention on the Mandurah and Pinjarra areas - that is only a good thing."
Department of Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Darren Klemm said a temporary office had been set up in Pinjarra ahead of the centre opening.
"It is an office environment for the centre of excellence staff so we can start moving people down here," he said.
"There are some training rooms but it really gives us an opportunity to set up base before the works are completed.
"One of the big gaps we've seen, especially among volunteer brigades, is that sense of belonging. While we've had an academy at Forrestfield, they are responsible to local governments.
"The benefit of the centre is that is a learning facility that focuses on developing bushfire capability - that is very much in the remit of volunteer brigades.
"It will be exciting to track the progress of the build through to the end of next year."
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