The Innisfail State Emergency Service Unit has received a boost with Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today officially opening the second stage of its new headquarters.

Mr Pitt said after the unit’s previous headquarters was devastated by Cyclone Larry in 2006, grants from local, state and federal governments helped the local community to fund the construction of another facility.

Curtis speaking at the official opening of the Innisfail SES

Curtis speaking at the official opening of the Innisfail SES

“The plant room was the first stage of the new headquarters and was completed in October 2008,” Mr Pitt said.

“The administration building was the second stage, and construction began in November last year to provide a space for SES volunteers to base their operations from.”

 Mr Pitt said the new headquarters could not have been completed without a number of generous community donations.

The local Lions and Rotary clubs pledged $25,000 and $100,000 respectively, grants were received by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, state and federal governments, and pledges were made from numerous local and national businesses and corporations to assist with building materials and ancillary items.

 “These contributions demonstrate an overwhelming display of community spirit and generosity within the Innisfail community – and one which I know will be repaid in time by our wonderful SES volunteers,” he said.

Emergency Management Queensland Far Northern Regional Director, Wayne Coutts, acknowledged the hard work of the volunteers who will be based from the new headquarters.

“The Innisfail SES Unit currently has 37 active members, who have contributed more than 1,100 hours to their community over the past 12 months in activities such as storm damage response, land search, air observer operations and traffic control,” Mr Coutts said. 

“The volunteers from Innisfail serve the community from the Russell River in the north to Silkwood in the south but they also regularly assist other units from across the Far Northern Region in major activations.

“While a headquarters is absolutely vital to an SES unit, it is the people who are the SES lifeblood. They sacrifice their own time and dedicate their lives to giving back to the community.”

The official opening of stage two of the new Innisfail SES headquarters also saw the presentation of two new pieces of equipment to the unit. 

“Thanks to the Innisfail Lions Club, the SES Unit now has a new generator, while a Queensland Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant organised by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council has funded an automatic sandbagging machine worth $34,000 for use in flood events,” Mr Pitt said.

“These items are an investment by the community which will enable SES volunteers to more effectively respond in storm, flood or cyclone events.”