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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Lack of facilities hinders Narandera’s ses

Narrandera Shire Council has greenlit $25,000 worth of works as per the request from the Narrandera SES at the Narrandera-Leeton Airport, with an additional $50,000 earmarked for amenities in the Council’s upcoming 2024-25 budget.

Deputy General Manager (Infrastructure) Shane Wilson highlighted that it’s the Council’s statutory obligation to provide the local SES with appropriate facilities at no charge. The airport’s hangar space is deemed the most viable and cost-effective solution for the near future, ensuring volunteers can assist the community during emergencies.

In January 2024, the NSW SES initiated discussions with the Council regarding suitable facilities for equipment storage. A short- to medium-term solution involving the rear of the vacant hangar building at the airport was explored and found favorable. Preparatory works estimated at around $25,000 were planned before utilization.

The council also acknowledged the need to address further medium and long-term requirements at the facility. Funding for major works would likely need to be entirely grant-funded, as is the case with many new SES facilities across the state.

Modifications, including fencing, hardstand or asphalt laying, LED lighting, power supply enhancements, and upgrades to the entrance door, were deemed achievable within a $25,000 budget, except for toilet facilities. Long-term amenities costing $50,000 would need to be included in future budgets, possibly subject to grant funding.

Wilson noted that occupation costs for the building would be minimal, with limited associated expenses expected, possibly covered under the operational budget.

The State Emergency Service Act 1989 mandates suitable training and storage facilities for local commanders within three months of their appointment. Current challenges facing the Narrandera SES include delays in emergency response due to equipment storage in Leeton and a lack of suitable training facilities, discouraging potential members from joining.

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