Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

SES seek Cobram home

Emergency service enters talks with Moira Shire Council on a home facility centrally located in Cobram.

ROB HENSON June 2, 2014 3:04am

Homeless: Cobram SES controller John Stava and treasurer Carrie Hawke are seeking a structure to park their group's vehicle and equipment.

Cobram SES has sought meetings with Moira Shire Council as it seeks a permanent facility to house vehicles and equipment.

Raised at recent public information sessions on the Moira Shire 2014-15 budget, Cobram SES controller John Stava said the organisation’s sole vehicle was currently housed at a private residence.

With potentially more vehicles, boats and other equipment to add to the group’s arsenal in the future, a home has been sought for years, with discussions between SES and council about three years ago proving unfruitful.

It is understood a possible solution would see council providing land, with the SES responsible for building a shed-like structure.

Mr Stava said the facility needed to be central, easily accessible by road and secure.

‘‘In times of high flood there is the real possibility our resources could be isolated, and we wouldn’t be able to get them here, so we need a base in Cobram,’’ he said.

‘‘And for the immediate response capability, we’ve addressed that partially by getting a vehicle, but we need somewhere to house it.’’

Mr Stava said the Cobram showgrounds and industrial areas had initially been raised as possible locations.

‘‘They’ve mentioned the showgrounds, but how are we going to get out of there, if there’s a show on, or cricket, or soccer?

‘‘We’re supposed to be able to reach any facility in four minutes, so being central is very important.’’

Cobram SES has 25 members with a core group of eight available at ‘‘any time’’, Mr Stava said.

He said the group’s acquisition of a multi-purpose vehicle had encouraged new members, and a permanent facility would give further recognition of the rescue service’s work.

‘‘Certainly it would encourage membership in Cobram.

‘‘It’s something we can do for the community. The people that are good SES members are deeply altruistic.

‘‘It’s interesting — some people (are) attracted to it because they’re interested in learning new things, some want to meet new people, some want to have a life outside the ordinary.’’

Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield said he welcomed a meeting between SES and council to discuss an SES base.

‘‘I can’t give any guarantee of what we can do, but we can obviously look into it,’’ Cr Mansfield said.

He said the Municipal Association of Victoria had voted unanimously to lobby the Victorian Government to provide full ongoing funding for the SES.

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