The Andrews Labor Government will build a fit-for-purpose facility for VICSES volunteers and the Knox community, as part of its strong commitment to emergency service volunteers across Victoria.
Jackson Taylor, Member for Bayswater, representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville, joined VICSES Chief Officer Operations Tim Wiebusch to announce funding for the new facility, which will be built at 609 Burwood Highway, Knoxfield.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 included $21.1 million for VICSES infrastructure projects, including a state-of-the-art facility for the Knox unit.
The new facility will be located on land managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, with the construction of the unit’s new base expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
The Knox unit plays a vital role in protecting the community, responding to around 650 calls for assistance every year, including more than 50 road rescues.
The unit has been involved in significant emergency events, including Black Saturday and the 2010 Knox hailstorm which left more than 10,000 homes significantly damaged.
It has 65 active members with a further 11 support members, whose current base in Wantirna was built in 1980 and is set to be redeveloped by Knox City Council.
VICSES is the control agency for floods, storms, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis. It also assists Victoria Police and other emergency services during major incidents.
It plays a key role in responding to road accidents across Victoria, operating 103 road crash rescue units across the state.
Quote attributable to Member for Bayswater Jackson Taylor
“The Andrews Labor Government is providing our Knox VICSES unit with the fit-for-purpose facility they deserve as we continue to back our local volunteers, who work tirelessly to respond to emergencies and support our community.”
“The VICSES Knox unit has been at the forefront of keeping the community safe for decades and this important funding will help ensure it has the very best facilities to continue that work.”
Quote attributable to CEO of Victoria State Emergency Service Stephen Griffin
“This is exciting news for our Knox unit, which is one of our busiest—particularly in the road rescue space. With a new Burwood Highway site already secured, the new facility is expected to be finished by the end of 2020.”