Council hands over keys to new SES facility

Cessnock City Council has handed over keys to the local SES to the place they will soon call home in a short ceremony at Cessnock Aerodrome on Monday afternoon.

Cessnock City Council has handed over keys to the local SES to the place they will soon call home in a short ceremony at Cessnock Aerodrome on Monday afternoon.  

The SES approached Council in 2015, seeking assistance to support their growth in the Cessnock local government area.  

A standard NSW SES facility is generally for the sole use of SES to allow the Unit to operate at full capacity in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.  

Council resolved to provide the SES with a stand-alone facility to call their own on the western side of Cessnock Aerodrome and allocated a further $30,000 to assist in making it suitable for use.  

The SES plan to bring in an ex-Sydney Olympic Village demountable to sit beside the shed and complete their facility.  

Local SES Controller Bill Thompson said their new facility will be used for training, storage and as a headquarters for local operations.  

“This new building will give us a sense of pride and a physical presence in the Cessnock area,” Mr Thompson said.  

Since appointing Bill Thompson as the new Local Controller in August 2015, membership has grown to almost 30 members.  

“In 1964 we had 204 members operating out of four sites.”  

With good leadership and a stand-alone facility, it is estimated an SES membership of at least 50, with the potential for at least 80, is achievable in the Cessnock area.  

Cessnock City Mayor Councillor Bob Pynsent said emergency events can occur at any time, therefore the SES need a space that is operationally ready at all times and secure, with no interference from other users.  

“The SES are critical to the safety of our local community in times of need and we are proud to provide this facility to assist them with resources they need to do their work,” Cr Pynsent said.   

SES Unit members have been training with the Maitland SES Unit since vacating the Cessnock District Rescue Squad building in South Avenue, Cessnock in October 2015.  

If you are interested in joining the SES Unit, please contact Local Controller Bill Thompson on 0429 220 796.

17 March 2016