Government inaction leaves SES out in the cold

Port Fairy’s SES unit has been left homeless thanks to the inaction of the Andrews Labor Government, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.

The unit’s Sackville Street base was condemned on Friday after an assessment found there was an unacceptable safety risk – including a high risk of electrocution and mould embedded in the building’s frame.

Ms Britnell said the electricity was disconnected on Friday afternoon and the unit was scrambling to find a place to house their equipment and to base themselves.

She said the situation was an indictment on the Andrews Government, who have dragged their feet for years knowing the group needed a new facility.

“True to form, the Andrews Government has waited until the situation has deteriorated beyond the point of return and now a vital emergency service has no where to base themselves,” Ms Britnell said.

“This is a disgraceful situation and the Government now has absolutely no excuse to not provide funding for a new base in this week’s state budget.

“The Government must also help find a temporary home for the unit so it can keep servicing the community – it’s because of the Government’s inaction the unit is now in this position.

Ms Britnell said she has been raising the issue in Parliament and directly with the Ministers responsible for the entire time she has been the Member for South West Coast

“That’s almost six years the Andrews Government has ignored these warnings, six years they have ignored the desperate pleas from the members who have been saying we need action before we are left without a home,” Ms Britnell said.

“They haven’t listened and now we have the situation everyone feared would happen. The Government has shown complete disregard for the issue, for the hard-working volunteers and for the Port Fairy community.”

Ms Britnell said she would continue to work with SES unit controller Steve McDowell to find a solution and would speak with Acting Emergency Services Minister Danny Pearson urging him to act to address the situation.


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