Record $43.7 million SES budget

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

The State Emergency Service will benefit from a record $43.7 million budget this year, including a $20 million boost to enhance operational capability and support frontline volunteers.

Speaking from the Gracemere SES Group in Central Queensland, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said that the significant funding commitment represents a doubling of the SES budget and would directly support the work of approximately 6000 SES volunteers across the state.

“Our volunteers stepped up when Queenslanders needed them and have devoted countless hours to flood response and recovery alone this year,” Minister Ryan said.

“The State Government has committed to an $20 million boost to fund initiatives which will greatly benefit our SES volunteers.

“Thirty-three additional SES staff, on top of the seven extra staff recently announced, will be recruited across the state to support volunteers and with a focus on engagement, training development and delivery.”

Minister Ryan said the additional funding commitment incorporated a $10 million capital boost for equipment and facilities.

“In part, this will fund much-needed equipment such as SES flood boats, which are an extremely valuable asset for our volunteers and the community, as well as new facilities to support and enhance capability in critical areas,” he said.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the 2022-23 budget clearly demonstrated the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to supporting Queensland’s frontline volunteers.

“The work done by the SES in times of emergency should never be taken for granted,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“The work that they do is both crucial and a great comfort to our community in Rockhampton, knowing that they are not alone in the face of a natural disaster or emergency.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the Government was committed to ensuring those who are dedicated to keeping our communities safe have the best possible resources.

“Substantial funding has been allocated to personal protective and operational equipment for SES Groups across the state, including swiftwater rescue equipment and delivery of additional equipment onto flood boats,” she said.

“Whether it be floods or bushfires, both of which have affected this region, the SES is there to help,” Ms Lauga said.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach said additional staff and resources would support the response capability and development of SES volunteers.

“I am extremely proud of the passion and dedication of our SES volunteers, which has been on display recently as large parts of the state experienced significant rainfall and flooding,” he said.

“Our volunteers did an exceptional job and it is clear from these weather events why it is so important we continue support the SES into the future with infrastructure, equipment and training.

“Our SES volunteers invest a lot of time into their training and are skilled in areas such as vertical, flood boat and road crash rescue, searches, traffic management, search and rescue, incident management and community education.

“Further upskilling more personnel will benefit not only our operations but also the response provided to the community.

“This is an exciting time for the SES and I know they will put every new resource and skill to good use as they continue to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters in their communities.”

President of the Queensland SES Volunteer Association Eddie Cowie ESM said volunteers committed their time because they wanted to ensure the safety of the communities and people.

“These are locals, friends, neighbours and family members volunteering to help out in times of trouble,” Mr Cowie said.

“The support and funding from the Government is very welcome because it means that our volunteers have the resources and equipment to protect themselves and others.

“This a tremendous boost for the SES across the state.”

Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Alison Smith said the SES provided a critical service to local communities across the state.

“This additional funding for equipment, staff and support for the dedicated volunteers who work so hard for their local communities is much welcomed and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government as it progresses the broader QFES review,” Ms Smith said.

/Public Release. View in full here.