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Swan Council and staff believed the Incident Control Centre would be ideally located in Swan.

City of Swan push for bushfire centre

THE City of Swan will make a case to the state government for a dedicated purpose-built bushfire and emergency control centre in the Perth Hills.

The move comes three months after an independent review into the 2021 Wooroloo Bushfire recommended 13 actions to reduce the impact of future emergencies – the first of which was to develop a multi-agency Incident Control Centre (ICC) in the hills area.

Swan Council and staff believed the ICC would be ideally located in Swan, after they supported a recent motion by Cr Charlie Zannino to advocate for the development and construction of the facility within the City.

“The City of Swan is the largest metro council geographically,” Cr Zannino said.

“Close to 80 per cent of the city is rural or adjacent to rural or natural bushland.

“We’re central and we have all the appropriate infrastructure and roads with accessibility in every direction and it would make sense, being centrally located between Kalamunda and Mundaring to the south-east and Bullsbrook and Chittering to the north, to put an ICC in Swan.”

Of the 13 recommendations made by the independent review panel, the recommendation for an ICC in the Perth Hills was one of two not accepted outright by state government.

The recommendation, along with another concerning the regulation of bushfire and mitigation consultants, was only ‘noted’.

“At the end of the day, the recommendation that was put forward by the inquiry should be looked at seriously,” Cr Zannino said.

“The State Government in reality should take note of those recommendations.

“All we can do is flag it, say we’re here, we’re happy to do what needs to be done but you can only lead the horse to water.”

Cr Zannino’s motion was passed by council unanimously with support from City staff as well.

“The City of Swan is located on the periphery of the metropolitan area, and is the northern and eastern gateway to the State, with major road and rail transport routes running through the City’s local government area,” staff commented.

“The City’s location as an outer metropolitan gateway makes it the ideal location for a dedicated purpose-built multi-agency Incident Control Centre.”

Staff also said the West and East Swan Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades were currently assessing their future facility requirements and that any synergies between those future needs and the requirement for an ICC within the Perth Hills District could also be explored.

The City will now write to Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby to advocate for the development and construction of an Incident Control Centre within the City.

By Claire Ottaviano

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