Shelley Scott from the Crows Nest SES Group with Mayor Paul Antonio

Representatives of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) have officially opened an upgraded SES Headquarters at Crows Nest.

TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said the SES was a vital service to our community.

"The improved facility will build on Toowoomba Region's resilience to future disasters," Mayor Antonio said.

"The upgraded Crows Nest SES Headquarters is an excellent opportunity to recognise the significant benefits of two levels of government working together.

"The Queensland Government's commitment to improving the resources available to the Region's SES can only build on our future resilience.

"The $180,000 construction cost included an accessible amenities block, an upgraded car park, recladding of the existing shed, a new kitchen, communications centre, training room and covered area plus two new storage areas. 

State Emergency Service Assistant Commissioner Andrew Short said a strong partnership between Local Government and QFES was vital.

"A close working relationship with Council ensure that SES Volunteers can effectively respond to their communities in times of need," Mr Short said.

"$60,000 was provided through the State Emergency Service (SES) Support Grant, with Council providing the design and project management services to deliver to our volunteers a refurbished headquarters.

"The upgraded facility provides our volunteers with a greater level of comfort then was previously available, which is especially important when responding to prolonged operations.

"Local SES Headquarters tend to become a focal point during disasters for the community and other responding agencies.

"The challenge of ageing accommodation was very apparent during the 2019 Pechey and Ravensbourne fires. 

"The SES provided operational support in the original building at the same time as it was being used as a distribution centre for supplies to the fire lines. 

"The upgrade and extension of the facility will now allow for multiple operational uses during times of emergency. 

"During all types of disasters and emergencies, there is an enormous demand on our emergency services personnel. 

"The volunteers are in all levels of the response, from the front line to command and control to logistics. Our teams never know what might be asked of them when they answer that call for assistance. 

"Queensland SES Week runs from Saturday 17 October to Sunday 25 October 2020. The week is dedicated to recognising the significant contribution our SES Volunteers give to the Queensland community. 

"South West Region will be hosting an awards ceremony on Saturday 17 October in Toowoomba, during which present several awards and service medals to volunteers.

"Without the volunteers in those services, we would not be able to respond in the way we do in times of disaster.”

Mayor Antonio said our Region had seen its fair share of natural disasters. 

"In the past 12 months, we have faced drought, bushfire, minor floods and a global pandemic. The SES is always there to help out in times of trouble," Mayor Antonio said.

"The opening of this refurbished building provides us with an opportunity to say thank you to our SES volunteers for their outstanding contribution and service to their communities.”

The Queensland Government has funded the project through an SES Support Grant program with $60,000, in partnership with the Toowoomba Regional Council.

'Get Ready' Queensland Week began on Monday 12 October and SES Week was the perfect time to open an improved SES facility.

"During this time, we want all Queenslanders to think about how they can prepare for any surprises summer may have in store,” Mayor Antonio said.

For more information about the project, please call 131 872 or email info@tr.qld.gov.au.