Stroud SES set to receive new facility

An artist’s impression of the new Stroud SES facility. Image: MidCoast Council.

STROUD’s State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers will gain a new, modern facility from which to better serve the community, after extensive community consultations alongside MidCoast Council.

The current SES facility, located in Booral is, by Council’s admission, “insufficient to meet the needs of volunteers and store all their equipment… even more so now that they are Road Crash Rescue accredited.”

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“The proposed Stroud facility is a new modern facility capable of supporting the volunteers during training and operations as well as storing all their equipment ready to use,” Stroud SES Deputy Commander Greg Snape told NOTA.

“The majority of members live in Stroud, making the existing Booral facility well out-of-the-way.

“While the Booral site doesn’t flood, our access to it is prone to flood, such as in 2015, when Booral became inaccessible,” Greg added, fully appreciating the irony.

“The SES has been actively seeking alternatives for last eight years, having positively identified that Booral’s shortfalls are economically unviable to fix.

“Council are responsible for SES unit facilities, but in this instance the SES has secured funding for the planning, design and construction, State Government funding of $2 million, especially for Stroud, shared with Council.”

During a Council-run Information Session on 1 February, community members met with SES design and planning staff, Council staff, and local unit members, to inform them of the proposal, and allow insight and comments pertinent to design, structure and possible changes.

“It was evident that everybody supports the local SES, all understood why it needs to be in Stroud, not Booral, but some were still concerned about the final location,” Mr Snape said.

Council’s proposed location is on the section of the unformed road reserve in what is Gloucester Street, immediately south of Memorial Avenue, next to Allen Park.

A nearby alternate location was suggested by several community members, and since SES members are looking forward to moving into a new facility, the organisation should consider the viability of the alternate site.

Stroud SES has fifteen active members who assist a massive area encompassing Stroud, Bulahdelah, Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Wards River, Markwell and Mungo Brush.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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