Attended by around 150 people, the brigade was joined by guests including Federal Member for McEwen, Robert Mitchell and State Member for Seymour, Cindy McLeish, Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green and representatives from the Nillumbik Shire Council.
CFA Acting Chief Officer, Steve Warrington, Acting Fire Services Commissioner, Ewan Waller, former Chief of Victoria Police and former chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, Christine Nixon, CFA Board Member, Paul Denham, Executive Director for Operational Training and Volunteerism, Lex de Man and past Captains, Group Officers and members from neighbouring brigades also attended.
During the official ceremony, MP Robert Mitchell read a letter on behalf of Prime Minister, The Honourable Julia Gillard.
In the letter, the PM discussed the impact the February 2009 bushfires had on the community of St Andrews.
“Communities like St Andrews that live amid the beauty of a bushland setting know these dangers all too well,” she said.
“But they know something else too – they know that their local CFA team is always at hand, full of courage and dedication, ready to face whatever comes.
“Indeed, Australia’s country fire brigades are at the heart of our national tradition of volunteering and community service. The men and women who serve their local volunteer fire brigades embody the Australian spirit of mateship and self-sacrifice.”
Ms Gillard continued on to explain the importance of ensuring Victoria has well-equipped and well-supported fire brigades.
“So I’m thrilled that the St Andrews Fire Brigade now has a magnificent new home that provides a fitting place to gather, train, prepare and return when the job is done,” she said.
“The completion of the St Andrews CFA Fire Station is a sign of resilience in a brave and gutsy community.
“This is a great achievement and the whole St Andrews community should feel very, very proud.”
Mr Mitchell also took the opportunity to make a presentation to the St Andrews community of a framed Australian Flag that was flown above Parliament on 7 February 2012 - the third anniversary of the Black Saturday fires.
During speeches, brigade Captain Laurie Steel talked about the benefits of the new station, including improved meeting, office, kitchen and training facilities, along with a separate area for members to store their turn-out gear. There is also a workshop area and Breathing Apparatus (BA) cleaning facilities.
The construction of the fire station was a joint initiative between CFA and the local community. The station was funded through community donations, philanthropic groups including Newman’s Own Foundation and the CFA Capital Works program.