Floods prove need for new SES shed
THE timing could not have been better.
A swollen Mary River proved the point this week, when Gympie emergency service officials displayed their new Southside headquarters and equipment storage facilities, courtesy of the Rudd federal government stimulus package.
State Emergency Service local controller Terry Clark said the huge new shed would also house the Glastonbury SES new vehicle, another government gift, this time to fulfil an Anna Bligh election promise that any Queensland SES group without vehicles would be given one.
Mr Clark said the SES had outgrown its King Street headquarters, but would continue to use the building as an important base on the CBD side of the river.
It would continue to be vital in the case of major floods cutting Southside from the CBD altogether, as happens when the Normanby Bridge goes under.
“We’d never be able to train enough SES members,” he said.
“The King Street building will only hold about 20. If you only want 20 SES members in Gympie, that’s fine, but the area is growing quickly.”
The new shed would house the Southside SES, but its 30m by 15m size meant it would take over much of the storage and training roles for SES groups in the region.
“Here we can accommodate 60 members,” Mr Clark said.
“The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service will also be able to store a vehicle here in emergencies, so there will be at least one urban fire fighting appliance already here.”
The shed will also house the SES boat, and the Gympie showgrounds dam immediately next door would enable the facility to provide practical water craft training for emergency service cadets.