State Emergency Service Chelsea Unit

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Emergency Services, and the action I seek is for the minister to join me to visit Chelsea State Emergency Service (SES), which benefits all of my electorate, to get an update on their needs and priorities for the future.

The City of Kingston is expected to grow by 20 per cent over the coming decade. This presents an ongoing challenge for our emergency services. That was never more evident than over the weekend when both the Chelsea SES and the Edithvale Country Fire Authority (CFA) were sent out to numerous calls in our electorate, with volunteers giving up their weekends and in some circumstances attending well over six call-outs to protect our community.

I had the opportunity to visit the Chelsea SES recently. Some of the members, some of whom were volunteers, had just returned from servicing the community of South Australia, where the whole state has been impacted by wild weather events. I had the opportunity to present five-year service awards to Kathryn Williams and Timothy Bryant, who have both done an outstanding job for our community. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to unit controller, Ron Fitch, who has served in that role for many years, and communications director, Phil Wall, who has given over a decade of service to our local community.

I also wanted to quickly mention a very important emergency service in our area, the Edithvale CFA. As I was driving down Wells Road on the weekend, with wind gusts of well over 80 kilometres an hour, the CFA were attending a house fire in Reef Court, Aspendale Gardens. It is by the good graces of their work, and probably a bit of chance as well, that this fire did not consume more than one house. It was an outstanding effort by the volunteering and career staff of the Edithvale CFA, Dandenong CFA, Springvale CFA and Patterson River CFA. It was an outstanding effort, and I want to pay tribute to Graham Fountain, the Edithvale CFA captain, and all the volunteers and career staff who did a fantastic job that day.

Chelsea SES and Edithvale CFA are talking about how they can support our community more broadly and how they can work together and collaborate. There is a crossover of some volunteers between the two organisations. The growth in members at the Chelsea SES has been a great success, and we need to plan for how they can service the needs of Kingston and the number of call-outs they attend. Obviously we are at threat from wild winds on Port Phillip Bay. We have inland storm surges, and there is potential in the longer term for flooding to be even greater, and of course our community is nestled on the old Carrum Carrum Swamp. We are on a flood plain, and we need to plan for that into the future and look to how we can support the capital works and needs of the Chelsea SES into the future. In conclusion, I ask the Minister for Emergency Services to visit Chelsea SES and hear about their future needs.