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New HQ to be built for VICSES volunteers

More than 500 construction sites around Australia are flying the flag of mental health and suicide prevention as part of the annual MATES in Construction ‘Fly the Flag Day’, in partnership with R U OK?

The Victorian Government will invest $7 million into a new headquarters for the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) as part of a $54 million boost for VICSES infrastructure.

The VICSES Chelsea Unit has 58 active volunteer members who responded to 325 requests for assistance between July 2019 and June 2020. Incidents range from floods, trees down, damage to property and search-and-rescue operations in and around Mordialloc Beach.

The new site will be located at 13 Ashley Park Drive, Chelsea Heights. The current warehouse will be converted to a six-bay drive-through motor room, including additional storage for boats and equipment, with existing infrastructure upgraded to support administrative operations.

The new facility aims to ensure the unit can respond to incidents across two thirds of the Kingston local government area, including out into Port Phillip Bay.

“The new VICSES Chelsea facility will be an important development for the community who count on the great work of our volunteers on a daily basis,” Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson said.

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Unit operations commenced in 1953, making it one of the longest serving units, assisting the community for more than 67 years. The new site will provide volunteers with infrastructure to work alongside Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and fire services.

“VICSES Chelsea is one of our longest serving units and it’s important that volunteers have the space and resources they need to effectively respond to incidents and support Victoria Police and other emergency services,” Acting Police and Emergency Services Minister Danny Pearson said.

Settlement will occur on 1 July 2021, with construction and fit out to begin shortly after. The new facility is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

“We’re continually looking at ways we can better support our current and future volunteers – ensuring they receive the training and facilities they need to do their job,” Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services Paul Edbrooke said.

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