MR DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — Last week I met some of the fantastic volunteers from the Monash branch of the State Emergency Service (SES). These people are genuine local heroes. It does not matter whether it is raining or hailing, if there are blustery winds or it is the aftermath of a natural disaster, the SES is on call. They do it as volunteers but in the most professional way. But it is not only weather events — the SES are at other emergencies too, helping our other emergency services, whether it is trying to find a lost person or helping to conduct searches for evidence in a crime. They are also there in times of major accidents on our roads. It is understandable that some of the things the SES volunteers see and do while on duty must be incredibly difficult. Therefore I cannot praise the SES enough.
The government recently announced a grant of over $19 000 to provide a proper kitchen for the volunteers at Monash. If you think about how many people come through there at all hours of the day and night, a modern kitchen is incredibly important. Also, the medium rescue truck that we provided some $100 000 towards is currently under construction.
There is always more to do, we know that, and I have had some very good discussions with the leadership of the Monash SES regarding some ways that the operations centre could be made even better. I will be raising these issues directly with the Minister for Emergency Services. I would like to thank the team at the Monash SES for allowing me to see the operation and witness the training they do every Monday night, and of course I would like to thank them and all our SES volunteers for the work they do 24/7, 365 days a year. As I said earlier, they are genuine local heroes.