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$15 million for new Emergency Operations Centre in Moruya

This morning saw the announcement of $15 million for new co-located Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Fire Control Centre (FCC) at Moruya to ensure our emergency services have purpose-built infrastructure in place to respond to future major emergencies. The NSW Bushfire Inquiry identified a number of existing FCCs as sub-standard and in need of an urgent upgrade

Above: ESC Director of Infrastructure Warren Sharpe, with Commissioner Bob Rogers and Deputy Commissioner Kyle Stewart. Photo Moruya Mail RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers welcomed the development of the new facility at Moruya saying "When a major disaster strikes, it is critical that all the relevant agencies can come together to coordinate their activities to protect and assist the community." "Our existing Fire Control Centres at Moruya, Tumut and Hawkesbury are long past their use-by dates. The development of a new centre answers one of the vital priorities identified in the NSW Bushfire Inquiry." The NSW Government and RFS are in the process of finalising suitable locations for the Moruya and Hawkesbury facilities, and will update the community shortly. A location for the Tumut facility was announced in December 2021. The news of the funding for the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been welcomed by Federal Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips who has been solidly campaigning for a purpose built centre since she first heard of the sub-optimal facility that had been used. In December 2021 Federal member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, welcomed Senator Murray Watt to Moruya, in his capacity as Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management to show him first hand the makeshift venue that was used as an operations centre for the Bushfires of 2019 / 2020 Black Summer bushfires. The visit also enabled the Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management to meet the key emergency response operational personnel and hear first hand their account of the facilities and the conditions they worked under, and their suggestions for improvements.

Mrs Phillips said at the time, “I’ve been fighting long and hard for a dedicated Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for the Eurobodalla.” “The immediate need was of course highlighted during the catastrophic events of the 2019 / 2020 Black Summer bushfires. The selfless efforts of our rural fire service volunteers and all our emergency services volunteers and workers was simply outstanding and something I know we are all incredibly proud of”, Mrs Phillips said.

“Previous reviews have concluded that a purpose-made emergency services precinct is required in Moruya. A $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund exists for this exact purpose, and yet the federal government has done nothing”, Mrs Phillips said. Senator Watt remarking, “I accepted the invitation from Fiona so I could learn firsthand the logistical problems currently faced.”

“I’ve met with key stakeholders including Eurobodalla Shire Council and emergency services volunteers, and people in Mogo hit by the floods just two years after the 2019 bushfires. Their message to me was clear, whilst much loved, the Moruya RSL Hall is not fit for purpose as an Incident Management Centre”, Senator Watt said.

Above: The Federal Member has been fighting for an Emergency Operations Centre on behalf of the community by way of representations and raising a petition to be delivered following a solid campaign across media and social media after first hearing of the sub-optimal facility that served as the operations centre during the 2019 / 2020 Black Summer bushfires.

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