10 May 2023

Work about to begin on Weipa SES base

| Cape York Weekly
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A PROJECT that has been in the pipeline for a decade will finally kick off in the coming months.

Weipa’s new SES headquarters will be built by local company Goodline at Rocky Point, adjacent to the police station and cricket ground.

Weipa SES controller Peter “Ziggy” Siegmeier said it would be like Christmas when the volunteer group was eventually handed the keys next year.

“It’s been a long, long time coming,” he said.

“This was the vision of Trevor Snodgrass for many years. He was the one who made it happen.”

Mr Snodgrass now lives on the Cassowary Coast, but still takes a keen interest in the project.

On June 21, 2015, Mr Snodgrass stood on the same piece of land and posed for a pictured with former Weipa Town Authority chairman Ian McNamara to announce the preferred site for the new building.

Mr McNamara also pledged $10,000 of his own money to kick-start the project.

Five years later and the complete funding has been secured from the state government to erect a purpose-built SES building.

Mr Siegmeier said there were a number of advantages to having a custom-design headquarters.

“The shed we are in at the moment in Evans Landing is just not up to standard,” he said.

“We can’t fit all of our equipment in it, for starters.

“We also have trouble attracting volunteers because we’re not very visible in the current spot.

“Once the new building is making progress we’ll do a big recruitment drive and get SES people up to do some training.”

The new site might be an ideal location, but there have been some hiccups along the way.

Water and sewerage pipes had to be relocated, while the annual cost of the land has created some headaches for the SES branch.

The land was donated by Rio Tinto Weipa under former general manager Gareth Manderson.

Mr Siegmeier said he hoped the red tape would soon be over and was looking forward to focusing on SES business.

“I can’t wait,” he said.

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