MEMBER for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, has officially opened a new fire station at Wallaloo East.
Representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Bushfire Response, Kim Wells, Mr Ramsay said the new $246,000 station would cater for the brigade's current and future needs.
"The new station will improve Wallaloo East Fire Brigade's capacity to protect the community and provides its 23 members with improved facilities and modern base from which to work," Mr Ramsay said.
The fire station features a two-bay motor room, three car parking spaces and a toilet.
"The Napthine Government has invested more than $125 million over the past three years to fulfil its commitment to build 250 new or upgraded CFA stations across the state," Mr Ramsay said.
"We remain well on track to meeting this commitment with more than 200 stations completed so far."
Mr Ramsay said the money invested in the Wallaloo fire station had delivered economic benefits to the broader community.
"A local builder was engaged for the project and the use of local sub-contractors resulted in a high percentage of money being spent locally," Mr Ramsay said.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is proud of the vital work performed by CFA's more-than 55,000 volunteers who help protect 3.3 million Victorians and more than one-million homes and properties.
"The Coalition Government continues to support CFA members by providing them with the facilities and equipment they need to save lives and property."
Since 2010, the government has provided CFA with more than $2.29 billion. The 2014-15 Budget for CFA is $457 million.
"As part of the 2014-15 Budget, the government is also contributing an additional $29 million to CFA to buy 78 new vehicles and has invested $20.5 million to replace Respiratory Protection Equipment for CFA and MFB firefighters," Mr Ramsay said.
"All this is part of our program to strengthen Victoria's emergency services and will directly benefit volunteers and the community."
Liberal candidate for Ripon, Louise Staley, said the volunteers efforts are crucial.
"Country regions rely on their volunteers to make many things happen, and the CFA is perhaps the best example of this.
"The Napthine Government's support to the Wallaloo Fire Brigade recognises the volunteers' extraordinary efforts in times of fire and emergency.
"It also recognises, and applauds, the families of those volunteers and the efforts of the broader community in supporting the brigade," Ms Staley said.
As part of the celebrations, a number of distinguished service awards were also presented.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of 45 year medals to three brigade members, Ken Duxson, Peter Evans and Norman Duxson.
Mr Ramsay congratulated all 22 Wallaloo East Fire Brigade members who received the service awards.
"This group has more than 550 years service between them," Mr Ramsay said.
"Each volunteer has made significant contribution to their community and I commend them for their continued service protecting property and lives both locally and across the state."
All awards were presented by CFA Board Member Michael Tudball and CFA District 16 Operations Manager Chris Eagle.
Wallaloo East CFA service award recipients 2014:
Five year certificates - Michael Hodder, Stuart Lang 10 year medal - Sam Reading, Paul Hendy, Jason Hodder; 15 year medal - Armand Duxson, Margaret Nicholson; 20 year medal - Gregory Lees, Josh Reading, Benjamin Duxson; 25 year medal - Phillip Reading, Dave Perkins; 30 year medal - Mark Reading; 35 year medal - Phillip Lang, Rod Reading, Adam Nicholson; 40 year medal - Greg Reading, Allan Hodder, Graeme Ellen; 45 year medal - Ken Duxson, Peter Evans, Norman Duxson.