Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford have officially opened Rockhampton’s $2.9 million Queensland Fire and Emergency Services complex.
Mr Crawford was in Rockhampton to kick off a Central Queensland tour to hand over millions of dollars in emergency services equipment and facilities.
Mr O’Rourke said the multi-million-dollar centre would serve as an area office for the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and State Emergency Service (SES), as well as housing the Central Region Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) Professional Development Command.
He said the Rockhampton Incident Control Centre would also operate out of the centre to provide a state-of-the-art training facility.
“This complex is a very welcome asset for each of these services in Rockhampton and will not only benefit the city’s residents but also those of the wider region,” Mr O’Rourke said.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the new complex meant appliances, equipment and personnel could now be deployed to major wild fires, severe weather events and disasters across Central Queensland.
“A new storage facility for both RFS and SES will also provide a safe place to store essential appliances and vehicles for volunteers,” Mrs Lauga said.
“And the Palaszczuk Government is well on the way to meeting its election commitment of having 100 new firefighters on the ground across the State.
“In QFES’ Central Region alone, we will be welcoming – or have already welcomed – 16 new firefighters.”
Mr Crawford said that the complex would bolster QFES staff and volunteer response to disaster in the Central Queensland region.
“The centre has been built to guarantee all personnel can deliver a high standard of service and the community can feel at ease knowing their emergency services are well equipped and ready to respond,” he said.
QFES Central Region Assistant Commissioner Steve Barber said he was excited to see staff and volunteers now operate from the new centre.
“To be able to provide our hard-working service members with a new home is fantastic for emergency response in the Central Region,” he said.
During his Central Queensland tour, Mr Crawford also visited:
- Duaringa to open a new $310,000 Rural Fire Brigade (RFB) station and a new State Emergency Service facility;
- Blackwater to open a new $600,000 SES facility, which was funded through the SES Non-Recurrent Subsidy Program, with Central Highlands Regional Council contributing $550,000 and QFES contributing $50,000;
- Rolleston to hand over a new Road Crash Rescue vehicle and equipment, to which QFES contributed around $57,000;
- Springsure to hand over the keys to a new flood boat, motor and trailer worth around $70,000;
- Emerald to hand over a $1 million appliance to the Emerald Fire and Rescue Station, and to hand over a new operational support vehicle worth $110,000 provided by Central Highlands Regional Council, including a $20,000 contribution from QFES; and
- Capella to hand over a new storm damage trailer worth almost $18,000, funded by the QFES SES Major Equipment Replacement Program.
While in Rockhampton, Mr Crawford also hosted a workshop for QFES staff and volunteers as part of a state-wide roadshow to discuss the implementation plan for the organisation’s Volunteerism Strategy.
“In the Rockhampton area alone we have almost 2,000 personnel with the SES and the RFS and, quite frankly, I don’t know where we’d be without them, especially when disaster strikes,” Mr Crawford said.
“As a former volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years I understand the sacrifices made to make sure Queenslanders are safe and for that I thank you.
“Across Queensland we now have more than 45,000 QFES volunteers and we want to get feedback from as many as possible about the strategy and the best way to put it in place.”