Lismore will get a new incident control centre in an effort to ramp up the NSW State Emergency Service’s (SES) presence in the Northern Rivers in the wake of the devastating floods.
- The Deputy Premier says the funding will boost the ability of the SES to deal with severe weather events
- SES Commissioner Carlene York has welcomed the announcement
- Nine flood-related deaths were recorded across the state
The new centre is part of a $132.7 million funding boost announced by the state government for infrastructure, resources and staffing for SES organisations across the state.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the funding would ensure a more targeted and rapid response by the SES to future emergency events.
“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.
Emergency services have become a priority in this year’s budget with the government committing about $200 million to the Rural Fire Service in a separate announcement yesterday.
“Our SES volunteers are there for our families and communities in their time of need,” Treasurer Matt Kean said.
“This record investment is about investing in them and building community resilience to natural disasters.”
Northern Rivers residents were hit by twin flood events in February and March.
Hundreds lost their homes and businesses, with many people still displaced in emergency accommodation as the clean-up continues.
Nine flood-related deaths were recorded across the state.
The SES faced intense criticism over its delayed response during the Lismore floods in February after being swamped with calls.
Many residents had to be rescued by what became known as the “tinny army” where locals with boats picked up people from their roofs or inundated houses who had often been stranded for hours.
More than $11 million will go towards creating centres in two new zones with the capacity to respond to Level 3 emergencies, one of which will be built and staffed in Lismore.
The budget allocation also allows for a $58.7 million upgrade to 18 critical priority unit facilities across the state with millions more to split zones and improve facilities in their headquarters.
SES Commissioner Carlene York has welcomed the news saying the funding will set up the organisation for the future.
“This investment in the SES enhances our support of our greatest asset, our volunteers,” Ms York said.