State government and council go halves in new emergency centre

MP Thomas George and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty gathered with emergency service representatives in council chambers for the announcement of the new emergency management centre.
MP Thomas George and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty gathered with emergency service representatives in council chambers for the announcement of the new emergency management centre.

Tenterfield Shire Council will soon have a new $400,000 emergency management centre, to more-efficiently coordinate responses to events just like the current fire crisis.

The state government will put in $200,000 to fund the project, with matching funding from council.

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The centre will feature its own emergency power and a telecommunications tower, to ensure ongoing operation should these services be cut.

Council’s chief executive Terry Dodds said there would be some reconfiguration of office space in the Bruxner Park facility to accommodate the emergency management centre in the front room. The time frame to have the centre operational is 18 months.

He said the aim is that, as the need arises, a representative from each arm of the emergency services sits around a table as communications come in and solutions go out, allowing an efficient, effective coordinated response.

MP Thomas George said the project will modernise and improve emergency response in Tenterfield.

“The existing council chambers will be modernised with new data, communications and IT equipment, to provide a safe emergency management centre during a crisis,” he said.

“The centre will help prevent the difficulties encountered during the emergency management of the 2011 Tenterfield Flood. It is intended the centre will be used for coordination of operations and support the community during an emergency.

“Once finished, the council will be able to more effectively monitor emergencies, coordinate responses from other agencies and put in place safeguards that will reduce risks to people, animals and property.”

Installation of a new generator will provide capacity for emergency services to use the centre at all times, while a telecommunications tower will enhance range and SMS capabilities, which are currently unavailable.

The grant was funded through the Clubgrants Category 3 Infrastructure Grants program. These grants are funded by a contribution from the state’s registered clubs to reinvest profits from gaming machines back into community projects.