24
Jun
2014

ADJOURNMENT Emergency services

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) — The matter I raise is for Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The action I seek is that he provide an update on the extreme weather that hit Victoria today and that he provide details of the action taken by Victoria’s emergency service agencies in response to today’s flooding.

Victorians are and will continue to be at risk from a broad range of natural and human‑induced hazards. Reports from the CSIRO predict that Victoria is likely to see more extreme bushfires, floods, droughts and storm surges, and that many communities, industries and vital infrastructure will be affected by extreme weather conditions. It is important that municipal councils, communities and individuals are supported to develop skills to navigate risks and local impacts of weather events during times of crisis.

Over recent times our emergency services have built resilience and developed emergency management plans. During recent bushfires Victoria has taken an all‑hazards, all‑agencies approach to dealing with such emergencies. As members of Parliament we are sitting in this building today debating a number of different matters, but many people in the community would say that we are in a bubble and are not necessarily aware of some of the extreme weather conditions being experienced outside.

We are fortunate to be connected by technology that informs us of some of the activities that are happening as we speak. Extreme weather has hit right across Melbourne, including my electorate of Caulfield and the nearby electorate of Albert Park. The severe weather conditions have included flooding. Many homes have been affected by power outages. I am told that Jerry’s Milk Bar, a store I frequent, is under water. Commuters have also had difficulty getting home tonight.

Further investigation indicates that gale‑force winds, flooding and severe winds have hit the Melbourne metropolitan area, the Mornington Peninsula and the Dandenongs. I understand that blackouts have affected some 80 000 homes across Melbourne. Extreme weather conditions also hit the electorate of my colleague the member for Mordialloc, including the bridge. Port Phillip Bay has been whipped into a frenzy. I believe the State Emergency Service has had a huge number of call‑outs. We will face extreme weather conditions over the coming days. Therefore I ask the minister to advise us about what actions and plans are being put in place to ensure that Victoria is prepared for both this and future emergencies.

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