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CVC rescues SES

The existing Yamba SES headquarters is located on the same block of land as the council’s Yamba works depot. The site is no longer suitable (big enough) to effectively run the SES unit. Image: Geoff Helisma

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has commenced a process that will result in the construction of a new Yamba SES headquarters.
The SES headquarters is currently located at Neptune Place, where it shares a site with the council’s Yamba works depot.
The location for the new facility, however, is confidential.
At the April council meeting, councillors unanimously endorsed the officer’s recommendation to “support the acquisition of [freehold] land as per confidential attachment for a new Yamba SES headquarters and delegate the Acting General Manager to facilitate negotiations for its purchase up to market value plus GST”.
Delivery of the project will be included in CVC’s forthcoming 2017/18 operational plan.
The report to council stated that “additional space is not available onsite for SES storage and training/operational activities”.
Meetings between SES (State Emergency Service) and CVC senior staff resulted in a “preference” to move the headquarters to a “green-field site in Yamba … not at Wooloweyah or Angourie”.
The council will fund the land purchase and facility’s construction with a $250,000 NSW Government grant, “that can be used for land purchase”, $103,840.13 from its SES Reserve fund and $143,038.23 from its SES Fleet Transfer fund.
“Expenditure for the project is identified in the confidential attachments,” the report to council stated.
The council’s acting corporate director, Kristian Enevoldson, said the attachments were kept confidential because it was “not appropriate to flag to real estate agents or construction contractors [the] properties of interest or estimated construction costs”.
He said that the council’s oversight of local SES activities was an example of the state government cost-shifting to local governments.
Mr Enevoldson said staff would assess the market value of the land under consideration for purchase “at no [additional] cost” and that the “tender price for the building will be met from available funds”.
New South Wales local governments are bound by legislation to “provide NSW SES units in its area with a building or buildings and ancillary facilities fit for NSW SES’ operational purposes”.
The NSW SES is responsible for “liabilities associated with the direct costs of operation of NSW SES units … including the costs of operation of the building”.