A new Fire Control and Emergency Operations Centre will be built at Clarence Valley Regional Airport thanks to an $8.5 million investment by the NSW Nationals in the state government.
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke joined Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, Nationals’ candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson, and Rural Fire Service (RFS) Acting Deputy Commissioner Kelly Quandt to unveil the Centre’s location.
“Having a Fire Control Centre and Emergency Operations Centre co-located will make an enormous difference to the way our emergency services personnel from the RFS, but also other agencies including the SES, Fire and Rescue NSW and Police are able to respond to fires, floods, storms and a range of other emergencies,” Ms Cooke said.
“It will provide our volunteers and staff with modern, purpose-built facilities essential to the coordination and management of hazards to keep Grafton and the surrounding communities safer and stronger into the future.”
The facility will consist of:
• An operations and logistics centre;
• Administration offices;
• Training rooms;
• Storage space; and
• Vehicle bays.
Mr Gulaptis said the region is no stranger to natural disasters, with the ferocious fires early in the 2019-20 Black Summer as well as last year’s flooding having a devastating impact on lives, livelihoods and the environment.
“Some of our State’s most experienced emergency service volunteers and staff are based in our community and they deserve the very best facilities and resources, which I’m proud the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“I want to thank Clarence Valley Council who have worked with the RFS to identify the best potential site for develop this state-of-the-art facility.”
Mr Williamson said the Clarence Regional Airport will be revitalised by the construction of the new Fire Control and Emergency Operations Centre.
“It will see the relocation of personnel here onsite seven days a week if required during emergencies, and will make our community safer,” Mr Williamson said.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Quandt said the new facility will replace the existing Fire Control Centre at Ulmarra, which is no longer fit-for-purpose.
“When a major disaster strikes, it is critical all the relevant agencies can come together to coordinate their activities to protect and assist the community,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Quandt said.
“The new centre will ensure the more than 1,100 volunteers from Brigades across the RFS’s Clarence Valley District have access to the latest technology and equipment to support their work.”
Design work is now underway and construction will commence later this year.