Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey officially opened the Russell Island State Emergency Service (SES) Depot alongside Redland City Councillor Mark Edwards at a ceremony today.
“It gives me great pleasure to officially open the new Russell Island SES Depot, which will provide a welcome boost to emergency services volunteers on the Island,” Mr Dempsey.
“This $120,000 facility was jointly funded by the State Government and Redland City Council in support of the world class services SES volunteers continue to deliver across the Redland City Council area, particularly on Russell Island.
“The Queensland Government provided $50,000 under the SES Subsidy Program towards the construction of the Depot, which will store SES equipment and vehicles on the Island.”
Mr Dempsey said the SES Depot was the first of its kind to be built on the site of an existing Rural Fire Station, a recommendation of the Keelty Report.
“SES and rural fire volunteers will now work together out of the existing kitchen, dining and training areas on site to facilitate and enhance interoperability between the SES and Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) and utilise joint training opportunities, in an all hazards approach,” he said.
“Russell Island’s SES volunteers have had a busy start to the year, deploying to North Stradbroke Island to respond to the significant bushfire in January, to evacuate campers and provide traffic control.
“Russell Island Rural Fire Brigade have also been busy responding to bushfire emergencies, working with council to conduct annual hazard reduction burns and responding to road crash rescues – a unique responsibility of island rural firefighters.
“The local community continues to rely on the valuable services Russell Island SES and RFSQ volunteers provide and we are very proud of their contribution and commitment to keeping their community safe. I look forward to seeing them operate out of this new facility.”
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams thanked the State Government for their support.
“Council is committed to ensuring residents have everything they need to prepare and battle disasters and this facility will not only help by acting as a base for SES volunteers but it will act as a visual reminder to residents of the importance of being disaster ready,” Councillor Williams said.
“No community is immune to disasters and the Redlands has certainly faced significant events in the last few years, most notably Tropical Cyclone Oswald which resulted in parts of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands being without power and isolated for up to five days.
“This facility will not only help the community prepare for events such as this, but just as importantly it will help respond to these events, ensuring the community can get back on its feet as soon as possible afterwards.”