The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, has asked the Treasurer in Parliament if funding will be provided to build a new co-located site for the Heathcote CFA and SES in the upcoming Victorian Budget.
The Nationals made an election commitment to build a new joint facility, after extensive consultation with volunteers, which was matched by the government after community and National Party advocacy.
Speaking from Parliament Ms Cleeland outlined some of the difficulties faced by the SES and CFA on a daily basis.
“The CFA and SES in Heathcote have a great relationship, but both of their stations have serious problems,” Ms Cleeland said.
“For the CFA, there are concerns around diesel particulates, incredibly outdated facilities that see female members changing down the road at the bowls club and hoses being cleaned on the main road.
“The SES shed sits within a flood zone, and they are often battling water at their door during storms when they are turning out and trying to support our community.
“This was evident when Heathcote was substantially impacted during the October floods.”
The Heathcote CFA attempted to raise their concerns with the Minister but were ignored until The Nationals committed to funding a new co-located site with the SES.
“Heathcote’s local upper house MP, the Minister for Emergency Services, had official correspondence on her desk in March of last year outlining the CFA team’s concerns, but it was never responded to,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The Nationals made a commitment to fund a co-located site for the CFA and SES, which finally kicked the government into action, and the commitment was matched.”
Ms Cleeland urged the Treasurer to put money on the table and fulfil their promise in this year’s budget.
“Treasurer, their facilities are simply not up to scratch, and they need this funding on paper in May.”