By Victoria Stone-Meadows
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews took some time out of his busy schedule to visit the Narre Warren SES on Wednesday 15 March and hear their stories about volunteering in their community.
Mr Andrews was invited to the Narre Warren SES by Cranbourne MP Jude Perera as part of Mr Perera’s efforts in pushing for a SES unit to be established in Cranbourne.
Mr Andrews and Mr Perera were given a tour of the Narre Warren facilities and heard from members about the difficulties in covering the entire Casey area from a single unit.
While neither Mr Andrews nor Mr Perera made any funding commitment in regards to a Cranbourne SES unit, Mr Andrews was optimistic about finding the money for one.
“We often don’t say thank you enough to our SES volunteers, and it’s important to acknowledge the great work they do in protecting the community.” Mr Andrews said.
“It’s (an SES unit in Cranbourne) something we are looking very closely at, and Jude has made sure I am aware of what is going on down here.”
“I am confident it has been a very well argued position, and while I can’t give a timeline, the State Budget will be delivered in the first week of May, and hopefully we will be able to deliver some positive news.”
Star News reported in February this year that Casey Council had decided on a site in Cyril Beechey Lane as a possible location for a Cranbourne SES unit.
Unit controller for Narre Warren SES Clinton Brown said another unit in the Casey area would greatly improve their capacity to serve and help the growing population of the region.
“It’s really about trying to service the ever growing southern corridor, specifically the Warneet, Clyde, Pearcedale, and surrounding areas,” he said.
“In our current capacity, it takes us about 30 or 40 minutes even with red and blue flashing lights on the main roads to get to a job in the southern parts of Casey.”
Mr Perera is currently running an online petition for those in the Casey Community to show their support for a SES unit in Cranbourne that can be found at www.thismatters.org.au/sesforcranbourne.