New SES Zone of operations for Northern Rivers


The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has established a new Zone of operations covering the Northern Rivers to significantly enhance emergency response across the region.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the creation of the new North Eastern Zone is a key part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s record investment in the SES.

“Following the devastating flooding in the Northern Rivers one year ago, we committed to the single biggest investment in the SES in its 56-year history to make sure they have the resources they need to be better prepared and keep communities safer,” Ms Cooke said.

“The creation of this new Zone is delivering on a key part of our $132.7 million investment and will include the hiring of more than 20 local staff, which will mean faster and more effective emergency response to protect the people of the Northern Rivers.”

Acting Commissioner Damien Johnston said the new Zone stretches from Tweed Heads in the north to Urunga in the south.

“Supporting our volunteers at a local level is a crucial part of us moving forward, particularly after the intense flooding we experienced early last year,” Acting Commissioner Johnston said.

Chief Superintendent Greg Swindles has been appointed North Eastern Zone Commander after previously holding the role of Metro Zone Commander responsible for Greater Sydney.

“Work has already commenced on building a strong team of local staff to manage incidents throughout the Zone, and providing the best support we possibly can to our fantastic SES volunteers and the wider community,” Chief Superintendent Swindles said.

The new North Eastern Zone will be supported by more than 20 additional regional staff based at Grafton and Goonellabah.

Staff will occupy a temporary existing facility at Goonellabah while plans are finalised for a new fit-for-purpose Incident Control Centre, which will be able to coordinate large-scale emergency responses.

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