Cobar staff redeployed as part of SES amalgamation project

SES Far West Region Cobar office staff Graeme Craig and Heather Christie will soon be moving on as part of the SES’s restructure project.

The staff at the State Emergency Services (SES) Far West Region Cobar office have been redeployed following an amalgamation of the Far West Region into the Western Zone.

Region Controller for the Far West Region Graeme Craig, who’s spent the past 11 years working with the SES in Cobar, said the restructure, which commences next week, is part of the SES’s transformation project which has been going on for over a year.

“The office isn’t going to close, there will be periodical staff representation out here and even though it clicks over into the new structure, I’ll be back for a couple of weeks during October,” Mr Craig explained.

The SES has developed a new reporting structure which Mr Craig said will be functionally based rather than graphically based like it is now.

“It makes the reporting a lot more vertical, rather than the chain of command that we’ve become use to,” Mr Craig said.

“What that means is if there’s a fleet issue that direct communication from the volunteer at the unit gets a lot closer to someone who will directly fix the problem rather than someone who will broker the fix.”

Mr Craig said the community will not really see a change.

“The volunteer units will do exactly as they’ve always done which is provide the great level of service they provide to people in times of need.

“This is more of how staff representation of the agency can better support the volunteers to do their great job in the field,” Mr Craig said.

He said the trainers in each of the units will also remain the same.

“The training officers for the zone will be based further away.

“For example, we could use Cobar or Euabalong, or we could use any of the units, at a major training need.

“The Director of Training has the full resource of the entire training staff for NSW to resource that, to resolve it,” he said.

The Far West Region of the SES covered Cobar, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Euabalong, Goodooga, Ivanhoe, Packsaddle, Tibooburra, White Cliffs and Wilcannia.

The new area will also include Wentworth, and will form up the Western Zone which will be based in Dubbo.

“Our Western Zone starts in Tenterfield in the north east and down to Wentworth in the south western corner,” Mr Craig said.

Mr Craig is relocating to the Northern Zone Office in Metford in the Hunter Valley; Marc Coulter’s role has changed from Deputy Region Controller to Deputy Zone Commander role and he’ll be based out of Broken Hill; Sandy Isberg has moved into a new role in Dubbo; Rod Whalan has relocated to Bathurst in a new role; and Heather Christie, who’s also been working under a temporary contract, will be finishing up at the end of October.

Mr Craig said he’s seen the “best and worst of mother nature” while working in Cobar and will miss the town and it’s people, but said he does plan to be a regular visitor.