The NSW Nationals in the state government are making the single biggest investment ever in the State Emergency Service (SES), with $132.7 million going towards its infrastructure, resources, and staffing.
The new funding includes more than $50 million to upgrade 18 critical priority Unit facilities across NSW.
The Budget boost will also see the creation of two new zones through the division of both the Western and Northern Zones, the construction of new Incident Control Centres, and upgrades to Unit facilities across the State.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the funding would ensure a more targeted and rapid response for future emergency events attended by the SES across NSW.
“The new facilities and additional staff will help boost the SES’s capability to handle severe weather events particularly in flood prone areas like the Northern Rivers, and to ensure these communities are better prepared,” Mr Toole said.
“But this funding will also fortify the presence of the SES across NSW building on our previous track record of investment into this vital service run predominantly by the community, for the community.”
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the funding would support the more than 10,000 SES volunteers who selflessly serve their communities.
“Today is a great demonstration of the NSW Government’s commitment to all of our wonderful volunteers, our very own Orange Army,” Ms Cooke said.
“We rely on the dedication and commitment of SES volunteers in times of great need, and they always deliver, and part of this funding will go towards upgrading 18 Units across the State.”
SES Commissioner Carlene York welcomed the news and said it would assist the agency strengthen its responsiveness into the future.
“This investment in the SES enhances our support of our greatest asset, our volunteers, and enables us to provide the vital assistance NSW communities need to protect life and property around the State,” Commissioner York said.
The $132.7 million Budget boost includes:
• $58.7 million to upgrade 18 critical priority Unit facilities across the State;
• $43 million to split the existing Northern Zone into two new zones, and split the existing Western Zone into two new zones;
• $11.7 million to establish Zone Headquarters in the two new zones with Level 3 Incident Control Centre capabilities;
• $18 million to upgrade existing Zone Headquarters to Level 3 Incident Control Centres; and
• $1.3 million to develop a Facility Strategy and complete further detailed business cases to address the remainder of the recommendations from the 2021 independent review.