Financial support arms SES for storm and cyclone season

State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers will head into storm and cyclone season equipped with essential disaster response equipment thanks to the generous support of Energex, Ergon and Powerlink.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne and Minister for Energy Mark Bailey met with the three energy CEOs for an announcement at Parliament House today.

Minister Byrne said SES units throughout the state have added chainsaws, ladders, lighting systems, stretchers, polesaws and more to their ranks under the $200,000 SES Equipment Program.

The program, which is an initiative of Queensland’s three State Government-owned power corporations, was launched to help SES units bolster their frontline toolkits.

“Our 6,200 SES volunteers dedicate their own time to helping others in need, and it is through programs like this they can continue to be there for vulnerable members of the community,” Minister Byrne said.

“Thanks to Energex, Ergon and Powerlink, SES groups from Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Brisbane, the South East and beyond have been able to add thousands of dollars in new equipment to their operations.”

Minister Bailey thanked Energex, Ergon and Powerlink for helping those who help keep our communities safe.

“This new equipment comes at an important time for the SES, as the state heads into storm and cyclone season,” Minister Bailey said.

“Queensland knows firsthand the damage storms and cyclones can wreak, and with predictions of an active season this year, communities can be assured the SES is ready and resourced to help when called upon.

“Quite often the SES works hand-in-hand with Ergon, Energex and Powerlink during severe weather events, and I am confident their financial support will build upon this already strong relationship.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said during last storm and cyclone season, SES volunteers responded to more than 2,200 incidents throughout Queensland.

“These ranged from flooded homes and roads, to damaged roofs and trees blocking roadways,” Mr Wassing said.

“Lighting equipment, chainsaws and ladders are vital tools of the trade in the aftermath of a severe storm or cyclone, so this equipment will be put to good use.”

Energy Queensland Chief Executive Officer David Smales said both of Energy Queensland’s subsidiaries, Energex and Ergon Energy, have had a long and personal association with the SES for many years.

“Our people not only work side by side with SES crews during natural disasters, but many of them are also SES volunteers themselves who play a vital role during disaster response or other situations requiring SES assistance.”

Powerlink Queensland Chief Executive Merryn York said the partnership had delivered significant benefits for the SES, particularly local groups in areas of the state prone to extreme weather events.

“Heading into the busy storm season, we are proud to have provided SES groups with the equipment they need to support our communities across the state,” Ms York said.

For SES assistance during a severe weather event, call 132 500. In an emergency, call 000.

Background:

  • Maranoa SES units received $13,000 to purchase polesaws, lighting systems, ladders and cooling devices
  • Far North SES units received $60,000 to purchase generators, lighting equipment, chainsaws and polesaws
  • South East units received almost $15,000 to purchase scene lighting equipment, chainsaws, generators and polesaws
  • Caboolture area units received $16,730 to purchase generators, lighting equipment and basket stretchers and incident command system packs
  • Townsville units received $41,000 to purchase basket stretchers, scene lighting equipment, chainsaws, incident command system packs, polesaws and generators
  • Mackay SES units received $12,460 to purchase a basket stretcher, inverter generators, scene lighting equipment, chainsaws, polesaws and incident command system packs
  • Rockhampton received $14,200 to purchase chainsaws, polesaws, basket stretchers, scene lighting equipment, generators and incident command system packs

Media contacts: Minister Byrne: 0400 622 433/ Minister Bailey: 0428 079 640