My adjournment is for the Minister for Emergency Services, and the action I seek is for the minister to fund the relocation of both the Port Phillip and Malvern State Emergency Service stations to suitable sites. Both Port Phillip and Malvern cover the Prahran electorate. I recently visited both branches and met with volunteers there. Both units are in desperate need of new stations and require funding to move to more suitable premises. Today is a day to say thank you to our SES volunteers, and what better way could the government say thank you than by actually funding the relocation of both these stations?
I certainly invite the minister to go down to both Port Phillip and Malvern stations and just see how inadequate their current facilities are. Their current depots are just not large enough to accommodate the minimum number of volunteers required or their vehicles and assets. Malvern SES need 76 members but currently only have half this number due to the space limits at their depot. There is no secure parking for their trucks, which deteriorate in the elements and are vulnerable to vandalism and theft. The current depot is also on council land, which they could take back at any point. At Port Phillip SES their existing facilities are spread over multiple buildings, with external storage in a shipping container which is shared with other users. There is only a single lane to enter and exit the site. These facilities are not accessible or well maintained, and the shared facilities create risks for volunteers on site.
Both Malvern and Port Phillip SES units have identified land for potential relocation; they just need government funding to make it happen. Our local SES units are severely underfunded. They are under-resourced, which impacts their ability to provide emergency services to the community. Local units only receive a small amount of funding per year and then have to fundraise the rest. When SES units are not properly funded they are unable to respond effectively to disasters in our community, and that will become even more acute as disasters caused by climate change increase. A properly funded and equipped SES is vital to the safety of our community, so I would urge the government to adequately fund the SES and fund the relocation of both the Malvern and Port Phillip units to more suitable locations.