MARYBOROUGH is a timber city and its important that this is reflected in its buildings.
That was the sentiment of MP Bruce Saunders at the Heritage City’s Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) complex in Lennox Street this week.
Mr Saunders, together with representatives from Hyne Timber, Hutchinson Builders and QFES, took part in a sod turning ceremony at the complex on Tuesday.
The complex is undergoing a complete overhaul and the buildings will be constructed out of local wood supplied by Hyne Timber. The existing brick buildings will remain as part of the new upgraded facility.
Mr Saunders said he was extremely proud of the project.
“This is probably one of the best things I have been involved in since becoming Member for Maryborough,” Mr Saunders said.
Mr Saunders said the upgraded building needed to reflect Maryborough’s history and including locally produced timber was one way that could be achieved.
He said it was also important for the region’s central firefighting hub to have new, state-of-the art facilities.
“Can you imagine a world without firefighters? They do so much for us, it’s not just responding to housefires and bushfires, they also respond to car crashes and other emergencies. We really are lucky to have such skilled firefighters here,” he said.
Once completed, the station will be Australia’s first mass engineered timber fire and emergency services complex.
The complex will be constructed out of approximately 500m³ of mass engineered timber.
Hyne Timber’s Strategic Relations Manager Katie Fowden said the local community will now begin to see the project coming to fruition.
“From the day a mass timber fire station was first mooted during an innovation forum held in Maryborough through to today, everyone involved in the project has been passionate about creating a sustainable building that’s great to work in for our emergency services personnel,” she said.
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“From the seedling’s nursery all those years ago, to the mature plantation pine through to the sawmills and glue laminating plant, many local Queenslanders have had a hand in this project.”
Meanwhile, Scott Hutchinson of Hutchinson Builders said the complex was their first mass timber project in Queensland.
“This building will not only be a highly specialist design to meet the operational needs of fire and emergency services personnel but will be a showcase of local capability and products sourced from renewable plantation forests.
QFES Assistant Commissioner for the North Coast Region Gary McCormack thanked Mr Saunders, Hyne Timber and Hutchinson Builders for their roles in making the upgrade a possibility.
“We are really excited about the prospect of new regional headquarters and fire and rescue station,” he said.
AC McCormack said the new facility would house staff from Fire and Rescue, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service and public service support staff.
The $12.1-million project is due for competition in the second half of 2022. Around 35 jobs are expected to be created during the course of the build.
Firefighters will operate out of Iindah Road during the construction phase.
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