Thursday, 3 May 2018

A significant step towards new Victoria State Emergency Service facilities in Wonthaggi has been taken thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino visited Wonthaggi today to announce the Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $2 million for VICSES to acquire new land for the Wonthaggi unit.

The funding will enable members to move away from their existing base, which currently struggles to attract new volunteers due to its poor condition.

VICSES will now work with the Wonthaggi volunteers to find an appropriate site for a new unit headquarters while design work begins for the new facility.

Wonthaggi SES currently has 18 volunteers. It responded to 66 incidents in the 2016-17 financial year, including floods, road rescues, damaged buildings and fallen trees.

The Budget allocates more than $43 million towards upgrading and building new VICSES, CFA and Life Saving Victoria facilities.

Other funded VICSES projects include funding for new land for Cobram SES, as well as a major upgrade to Essendon SES’ existing home.

The Labor Government will also continue to fund the $10 million state-wide volunteer support package that provides training and development grants for emergency-service volunteers.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino;

“Wonthaggi SES volunteers are dedicated to keeping their community safe, and deserve to have the best facilities and equipment.”

“This $2 million Budget investment is a significant step forward on the road to a new facility which will mean the unit can have a fit-for purpose site.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services:

“This funding is a huge boost for Wonthaggi’s hard-working SES volunteers, and I’m just incredibly happy that at last they will be able to attract new volunteers, expand their already terrific services, and have facilities that properly reflect their commitment and dedication to the local community.”