Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Mayor Steve Toms do the honours

Adam Marshall MP, Mayor Steve Toms and RFS Commisioner Shane Fitzsimmons unveiling the plaque on Saturday.
Adam Marshall MP, Mayor Steve Toms and RFS Commisioner Shane Fitzsimmons unveiling the plaque on Saturday.

The new state-of-the art RFS fire control centre on Lambeth Street has been formally opened.

At a cost of $3.4 million, it will serve the wider region from Inverell in the west through Glen Innes up to Tenterfield.

“That’s an area covering over 21,000 square kilometres”, said Northern Tablelands MP, Adam Marshall, who opened the facility, “so this control centre equips local RFS crews with the modern tools to battle fires across the Tablelands.”

“It is the most advanced headquarters to manage emergency situations anywhere in country NSW”, he said.

The new complex incorporates the control centre plus a Rural Fire Brigade station.

The computer systems will enable controllers there to monitor fires as they happen and so be able to target responses quickly.

The facility is not quite purpose built. It’s an adaptation of the Betta Electrical building, but completely gutted and adapted for its new use.

“It’s great to see the old Betta Electrical building re-purposed, to allow the RFS to consolidate their services, including their ability to manage remote fires and coordinate aerial water bombing”, said Mr Marshall.

At the moment, the control centre is in a warren of offices and corridors at the old shire council building on Bourke Street. It’s not known exactly when the complete move out of the old premises will happen, certainly within six months. The plan is to run the two facilities in tandem just to make sure there are no glitches in the systems at the new premises. Once they are happy with the way things work, the old building will be vacated.

Saturday’s opening also honoured veteran members with the presentation of medals and clasps to 29 RFS people who have given a total of 677 years of service, including Wellingrove brigade captain, Terry Boyd, who was recognised for his 59 years of volunteer service.