11 March 2024

'Counting the days': Goulburn SES to have $4 million incident control centre by end of year

| Albert McKnight
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NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York speaks at the sod turning for the new centre at Goulburn on Tuesday. Photo: NSW SES.

A new incident control centre for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is coming to Goulburn, with the first sod having been turned for the $4.4 million facility earlier this week.

The new facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, will provide the local SES unit with increased operational capacity through fit-for-purpose operational amenities, the SES said.

It will accommodate rescue vehicles, specialist equipment and training space for volunteers, while there will also be additional parking, increased storage, a communications room, changeroom facilities and rescue equipment.

In addition, a shared emergency operations centre will allow all emergency services to coordinate, communicate and respond to future incidents from a central location.

“Our wonderful volunteers will very much appreciate these new facilities, they’re very much state-of-the-art,” NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said.

“There is an emergency operations centre too so that when we have the big jobs, not only in the SES space but in other hazards as well, the council has somewhere to go with all our partner emergency service agencies to be able to lead the operations for those emergencies.”

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SES Goulburn unit operations officer Bonnie McMahon, who has been with the unit for eight years, said she had learned about the new building about three years ago and her team had been “counting the days down for this to happen”.

“Our old unit is a little bit run-down, but yes, this is going to be fantastic,” she said.

“Every vehicle will be housed in the shed, which is really good; some of our vehicles are outside at the moment.

“Some of our jobs, we do come back covered in mud, covered in stormwater, covered in floodwater, it is a bit of an issue. So being able to jump in and have a shower, getting all that dirt and muck off, then being able to wash our uniforms, being clean and not going home with mud everywhere … it’s going to be really good!”

NSW SES Goulburn incident control centre

The first sod is turned for the new SES incident control centre at Goulburn on Tuesday (5 March). Photo: NSW SES.

Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Peter Walker said the new facility would not only support SES members but also strengthen the community’s resilience in times of need.

“Our SES volunteers here, particularly in Goulburn, they’re always under pressure, but they’re always the ones that are the first to help out in emergencies. They do a sensational job,” he said.

He said the local unit supported the Goulburn community, but also reached out to help communities in the Upper Lachlan and down to the Braidwood region.

ARG Multigroup won the tender for the design and construction of the facility, which will be built on Crundwell Street near the current council depot.

NSW Government committed $2,150,000, the Commonwealth Government gave $1,495,000 and $725,500 came from Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

Commissioner York said the SES wanted to increase the number of volunteers at its unit at Goulburn and she had a message for the community: “Come and join the SES”.

“In the past year alone, the Goulburn Unit has responded to almost 200 calls for assistance, including flood rescues, land searches, storm response and general land rescue incidents,” she said.

“It’s a great organisation; we have absolutely fantastic volunteers. Here we have some that have been with us for just some months, others have been with us for many years.”

Ms McMahon said she and her team had tackled lots of flood rescues, roofs coming off, trees coming down, “pretty much everything – you name it, we do it”.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on About Regional.

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