Country Fire Authority Edithvale Station

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise a matter for the Minister for Emergency Services, and the action I seek is that the minister meet with members of the Edithvale Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigade to hear about their service to the community and discuss Labor’s commitment to build a new fire station in Edithvale. Edithvale CFA has had a long and proud history of serving and protecting our community since its establishment in 1925. All indications are that this fire season will again be challenging, and firstly I wish all firefighters well in protecting our community over the coming months. Edithvale CFA is an entirely volunteer brigade, supported by over 80 local memberswho play a vital role in keeping our region safe. It is one of the most active brigades in Victoria and last year expanded its membership by 60 per cent.

Last year I had the opportunity to visit the brigade at the launch of its emergency response vehicle. Acknowledging that on occasion volunteer members are first on the scene of a critical incident, the brigade identified the need for this specialised vehicle and was able to raise the funds through the generosity of locals.

Over the past 12 months the Edithvale CFA has attended 88 fires and explosions, 53 protected premises and high-risk structures, 50 motor vehicle accidents and 18 hazardous material incidents. Last summer brigade members also fought fires in the Grampians and at Morwell. This highlights the fact that the dedicated volunteers serve not only their community but also many regions across Victoria when called upon. It was a pleasure to be joined by the former shadow minister for emergency services during the year to hear from brigade captain Graham Fountain and his team about the future plans for the station.

The Edithvale brigade moved across the railway line from the Nepean Highway to Station Street in 1972 but has outgrown its current premises. The Bracks and Brumby Labor governments delivered $1 million to secure the land adjacent to the current fire station to accommodate a future rebuild of the station. In the past two months I have been honoured to join the former shadow minister for emergency services, now the Minister for Police, to announce the next instalment for Edithvale CFA, with Labor committing $2.5 million to build a new fire station.

Local firefighters have called for this upgrade, which will include additional bays, offices, training facilities and car parking. Our local firefighters work hard to protect us, and they deserve our support. In conclusion, I request that the Minister for Emergency Services visit the Edithvale CFA in the near future to hear about the brigade’s rich history and service to the community and to detail how an Andrews Labor government will work with the brigade to build a new fire station.