Grant funds purchase of vital SES equipment

Grant funds purchase of vital SES equipment

Published: October 1st 2019

Emergency assistance across the Banana Shire has been given a boost thanks to a $9,549 Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) grant awarded to Biloela SES Group.

The grant comes at the perfect time, with Queensland storm season officially starting in November.

The Biloela SES Group forms part of the Banana Shire SES Unit, with a further five SES Groups located at Baralaba, Moura, Taroom, Theodore and Wowan/Dululu. Biloela SES Group service Biloela and surrounding communities and assist across the entire Central Queensland Region.

Members volunteer their time to respond to requests from the community in relation to storm damage, flood boat, land search, traffic management, vertical rescue, community education and agency support.

Banana Shire Council, with funds from the Queensland Government’s Works For Queensland program, refurbished the old Biloela Queensland Railway Building into the new headquarters for Biloela SES Group.

Local Controller of the Banana Shire SES Unit, Tim Best, said they were currently in the process of converting the location into an office area, training room and Emergency Operations Centre that will be used as a central point in times of community emergencies and disasters.

The GCBF grant funds have been used to equip the training room and Emergency Operations Centre with a fridge, freezer, laptops, printer, wall mounted screen and ice maker, all purchased from local suppliers.

“Our members volunteer long hours, in sometimes gruelling conditions,” Mr Best said.

“Having chilled food and water enable us to not only recoup, but also provide welfare support to the community.

“The laptops, printer and screen assist us to track and respond to requests for assistance from the community and manage critical emergency information”.

Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier congratulated the SES Group on successfully securing the funding.

“The SES and their hard working volunteers provide an invaluable service to the Shire,” Cr Ferrier.

“They are there helping out those in need during some of the most trying and difficult situations and for them to not only have a purpose fit headquarters but also essential state-of-the-art equipment, to assist them in carrying out their duties, is vitally important,” Cr Ferrier said.

The Biloela SES Group currently has 12 members with 34 SES volunteers in total stationed across the Banana Shire.

People interested to join the crew are invited take part in SES training held at the Biloela SES Head Quarters on 97 Callide Street across from the Biloela Anzac Memorial Club every second Monday night, with the next one on September 30, or call 4992 1412.