Liberal leader Libby Mettam has called on the Emergency Services Minister to intervene in the closure of the Prevelly fire shed as residents raise concerns about the knock-on effect for bushfire risk in the coastal community. The Times last week revealed the shed housing a single appliance was closed as part of Wallcliffe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade’s long-anticipated transition to control under the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, which deemed the site was no longer needed. It came despite DFES declining to support Luke Saraceni’s Gnarabup resort and village project due to bushfire concerns. “It is astounding that the McGowan Government would even contemplate removing firefighting equipment from a high fire-risk area,” Ms Mettam told the Times. “Volunteer bush fire brigades play an important role in protecting our rural communities and must be adequately supported. “This decision puts not only them but the local community at risk. “This is contrary to the government raising concerns surrounding inadequate fire risk mitigation at the proposed development nearby at Gnarabup. “Community safety is paramount and it is critical the McGowan Government stand by their vision for ‘a safer community’ and review the decision to close down the shed.” Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson declined to respond to the criticism or calls to intervene to reverse the DFES decision, with a spokesperson telling the Times it was an operational matter. “I am assured by DFES that the Gnarabup and Prevelly areas are well-resourced to protect the local community in the event of a fire,” the Minister said. Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie, who ousted long-standing Nationals MP Terry Redman at the 2021 State election, said she was thankful for the contribution of volunteers to bushfire brigades in the community. “I understand that additional resources are provided by DFES to the Gnarabup and Prevelly communities ahead of each bushfire season to ensure they are prepared and protected,” Ms Kelsbie said. “DFES is supporting Wallcliffe fire services brigade in its preparedness and this is a timely reminder for community members to have their bushfire plans in place to help keep their families and property safe in the event of a bushfire.” Residents connected to volunteer firefighters who were not allowed to talk to the media said some fireys were concerned about the decision, which they saw as based on onerous health and safety considerations rather than the benefits of volunteers living in the community jumping on early bushfires before they could spread.