• Police and Community Services Minister Jack Dempsey cuts the ribbon to officially open the Russell Island new SES amenities.
The Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety, the Hon Jack Dempsey, officially opened the new Russell Island SES amenity and, in doing so, lauded island SES and fire brigade volunteers.
"Volunteers in any service are like a gold bar.
"The are invaluable.
"The give up so much to help and serve the community," the Minister.
The new Russell Island SES shed and side attachment are situated next to the island Fire Brigade in Jackson Road.
The Minister said it was 'appropriate' that the two facilities were 'attached' and 'side by side'.
"Because that is how the services are now situated in Queensland - the now work together."
The minister explained the new situation in Queensland that has seen the 'marrying' of the SES and Volunteer Fire Brigade.
"Instead of duplicating everything from operations to facilities and equipment, these are now shared by both services.
"Also, SES and volunteer Fire Fighters are becoming qualified in both areas, again a huge saving in volunteering, training and services."
The minister said it was 'appropriate' that the very 'first' amalgamated facility in Queensland where all services are 'interchangeable' is this one here on Russell Island.
"The rest of Queensland will be following suite.
"What it will mean is great efficiency, better communications, better use of amenities and equipment, huge savings, and a better outcome for emergency volunteer services in Queensland," Minister Dempsey said.
Others to speak at the opening were Cr Mark Edwards of behalf of Mayor Karen Williams, and Member for Redlands, Peter Dowling, who used the opportunity to remind the minister that 'more police' would be welcome on the SMB Islands.
It was an important event for the Minister and his Community Safety Portfolio.
Also attending was the Deputy Minister for Volunteering Queensland Ted Malone and the Deputy Queensland Fire Commissioner Bryan Cifuentes.
It was fitting that it was also announced that a full emergency water craft has now been made available to emergency services on Russell Island.
A loan boat and vehicle are already in place, and will be upgraded to a new vessel in the near future.