By Tony Bosworth | Editor Hawkesbury Post
NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Steph Cooke, has announced $8m has been earmarked for a new Fire Control Centre for the RFS at Wilberforce.
The money is part of a $31 million injection of funds for the construction of three new Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) and Fire Control Centres (FCC) at Hawkesbury, Moruya, and Tumut
The Hawkesbury Centre will be based at the Woodlands Reserve off Sackville Road at 295, Sackville Road, Wilberforce – Ironbark Drive, opposite Woodlands Oval.
The site was given the tick by Hawkesbury Council back in November, and today the funding was officially announced.
Minister Cooke said the RFS identified a number of existing FCCs as sub-standard and in need of an urgent upgrade, following recommendations from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our emergency services and local communities have the infrastructure and resources needed for future emergencies right across our State,” Ms Cooke said today.
“We’re investing $15 million in a new hub at Moruyaand $8 million each in facilities at Tumut and Hawkesbury to ensure our emergency services have purpose-built infrastructure in place to respond to future major emergencies.
“As we have seen throughout the horrific 2019-20 bush fire season, recent floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, our emergency services personnel do a remarkable job responding to threats to the community’s safety and wellbeing,” she said.
Hawkesbury was identified as one of the next priority projects by the RFS, after construction began on previously funded facilities at Armidale and Mudgee.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers welcomed the news and said the Hawkesbury facility would drive efficiencies in the response to future emergencies.
“When a major disaster strikes, it is critical that all the relevant agencies can come together to coordinate their activities to protect and assist the community,” he said.
“Our existing Fire Control Centre at Hawkesbury is long past its use-by date. The development of a new centre answers one of the vital priorities identified in the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.”