Wangaratta SES petition to be tabled in Parliament

Thursday 16 February 2017

A petition seeking funding to build a new SES headquarters in Wangaratta will be tabled in Parliament next week by Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy.

The petition, which contains 87 signatures, was launched by Mr McCurdy towards the end of last year after his plea for funding for the new facility was denied by the State Labor Government.

“The Wangaratta SES unit needs approximately $1.5 million to construct a new headquarters on a 4500-square metre block of land on the former Ovens College site, which has been set aside by the Rural City of Wangaratta,” Mr McCurdy said.

“This petition is one way we can demonstrate to the Labor Government that this new facility is much-needed in Wangaratta.

“The local community is well aware of the importance of the SES, especially after significant flooding in the region last year.

“I will continue to push this issue in order for the government to recognise the importance of our local SES unit to have the facilities it needs to operate effectively.”

In September last year Mr McCurdy asked the Minister for Emergency Services for funding for a new headquarters. The Minister responded by indicating all funding had been allocated for 2016-2017 and none of it was going to Wangaratta.

“The Wangaratta SES unit provides a vital service to the town and its surrounds, particularly during flood and for road rescue, so it is essential the government gives the funds to support the work it does,” he said.

“The headquarters are currently located in Millard Street and over the past few decades the responsibilities, equipment and membership of the unit has expanded enormously.

“This site is now restricted for room for SES vehicles, equipment and personnel and has inadequate IT resources, a single toilet, very limited parking and single vehicle-width access onto a very, very busy road on a blind corner.”

The petition calls on the Andrews Labor Government to provide the funding so the Wangaratta SES unit can operate from a modern, purpose-built facility which will enable its effective and efficient operation.

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