Construction gets underway on South Australia’s new emergency services headquarters
Construction has officially started on South Australia’s new $80 million purpose-built emergency services headquarters, part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s commitment to enhance and support the state’s vital emergency services. Nearly 200 jobs will be created during construction and the use of South Australian materials such as steel and concrete will provide an economic boost for local industries of around $50 million. The new headquarters, in the World Park Precinct in Keswick, will enhance the state’s emergency control capabilities and provide a modern, first class facility for emergency services personnel and volunteers. The new earthquake-resilient building will feature backup power, water and wastewater storage as well as technology-redundancies able to withstand major disasters such as floods and storms.
Premier Steven Marshall said that dedicated emergency services staff and volunteers deserve the very best in facilities and equipment. “We saw during last summer’s devastating bushfires just how vital our emergency services are to South Australia,” the Premier said. “This new State Control Centre not only strengthens our state’s response to crisis situations but it gives our emergency services the safe and secure base they deserve.”
Minister for Emergency Services Corey Wingard said having all our agency heads under the one roof will allow for better integration and collaboration and will streamline inter-agency communication. “The CFS State Operations Support Brigade and SES State Operations Support Unit will both be located in the new building along with staff from the MFS and SAFECOM,” stated Minister Wingard.
Axiom Properties Limited General Manager Paul Rouvray said the company teamed with specialist consultants and government representatives to design a world-class facility that can accommodate multiple emergency agency commands under one roof. “The facility will be a critical infrastructure asset for South Australia so it is vital key emergency response agencies can remain fully operational, without any interruption to service delivery, should a natural disaster occur,” Rouvray said.
There will also be a dedicated space for volunteers and union representatives.
“Our recent Independent Review into the 2019/20 bushfire season talked about the need for enhanced communication and IT sharing between our emergency services and this new headquarters will go a long way to achieving that.”
“Our frontline response teams have been working extremely hard these past few months to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19 and while this building won’t be ready in time for this emergency situation it will position us well into the future.”
CFS Chief Mark Jones said the sod-turning is an important milestone that signifies another step towards a modern, flexible and collaborative base. “The new headquarters is a great opportunity for our emergency services personnel and volunteers and will provide state-of-the-art facilities and technology enabling for greater collaboration between agencies,” stated Chief Jones. “The building will also bring a greater sense of identity to the sector and provide a ‘home’ for staff and volunteers.”
The Marshall Government is investing $14 million for the fit-out of the building and will then lease it from the developer Axiom Properties Limited for an initial period of 15 years.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has continued to progress to schedule with developers Axiom Properties Limited, Pike Constructions and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure expected to deliver the project before the 2021/22 bushfire season.
Source: Steven Marshall, Premier, South Australia