mullumThe new Mullumbimby SES operations headquarters is completed and the branch is looking for additional volunteers.

Recently completed at a total construction cost of $235,000, Byron Shire Council contributed $61,000 plus the land towards the project.

The remaining funds came from a $150,000 SES State Headquarters grant and the local Mullumbimby SES unit provided $24,000.

According to Byron Shire’s Mayor Jan Barham, the building and equipment funding could not go to more deserving group.

“The Mullumbimby SES unit is a vital community group made up of dedicated volunteers and Byron Shire Council is pleased and proud to be able to support the essential service,” she said.

“I encourage the community to consider joining the SES and supporting the amazing contribution they make to protecting the community in times of need.”

With the brand new building and fit-out completed, Mullumbimby’s SES local controller Noel McAviney said he ‘never thought we’d have it this good and we are keen welcome new members’.

“A purpose-built facility makes a big difference when responding to disaster events and our new building means we have the ability to achieve a more efficient response,” he said.

During the recent May storm event the SES Mullumbimby branch had 420 call outs and assisted with 365 clean-up requests within the first three days.

“We could not have achieved the strong result without the new building,” Mr McAviney said.

“As the lead agency in a natural disaster event, a co-ordinated response is vital to successful disaster management and the new building allows us to have the relevant agencies in one space.

“Over the past few years the SES has gained more responsibility when dealing with natural disaster events and we need to be able to respond to an emergency within 15 minutes – and this includes people, equipment and vehicles.”

The Mullumbimby SES unit has gone from one small room to a facility with specially equipped rooms for operations, communications, workshop, storage, garage, kitchen and amenities.

The completion of the new building has also triggered a new upgrade of equipment as the building now has the facility to house and maintain additional generators, ropes, lights, tools, tarps and consumables.

For anyone interested in joining the Mullumbimby SES unit, contact Noel McAviney on 0418 663 836.

PICTURE: Mullumbimby SES local controller Noel McAviney, Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham, BSC property and maintenance manager Len Reilly and Mullumbimby SES deputy controller John Farley during a cheque handover.