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Inside the State Emergency Operations Centre

We’re working side by side with the NSW Government to keep our communities up-to-date on COVID-19.

The Rural Fire Service headquarters in Homebush has become the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC).

Here our staff are working with their colleagues from other NSW Government departments and agencies, including Health, Transport and the emergency services.

There’s nothing more important than creating a safe environment where our kids can learn, so thanks to all our staff – in schools, at SEOC and everywhere else – for your hard work.

Thanks for your great efforts this week, long days ahead, but we appreciate everyone’s working together for the greater good.

Video – COVID-19 update, Friday 20 March

COVID-19 update, Friday 20 March

Transcript of COVID-19 update, Friday 20 March

Mark Scott

Hi Mark Scott and I’m here with Georgina Harrisson, Deputy Secretary of the department and George we’re at SEOC. First of all, what is SEOC?

Georgina Harrisson

SEOC is the State Emergency Operations Centre where all agencies are coming together to make sure that we’re responding to what Health needs and what the community needs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Scott

So you might recognise the background. It’s actually the Rural Fire Service centre where they did all the coordination work for the bushfires over the summer. Now turned into a centre that’s looking after the management of COVID-19. You’re kind of problem-solving on behalf of schools and the department. So what are the kinds of issues you’re looking at here?

Georgina Harrisson

So we are here so we can work hand in glove with health, get the latest advice for them and make sure we’re getting the latest advice out to our staff out in schools. We’re working on issues around supplies, making sure you’ve got what you need to keep your doors open and to keep operating. We’re working on advice around special circumstances we’re finding in schools that are affecting you every day, to make sure that we can give you the best advice on how to keep educational continuity for our students.

Mark Scott

We’re taking advice from schools if there are questions that they want answered. This is where you’ve pulled together the team and you’ve got people from all across the department working with you here and they’re working with the experts from the other government agencies.

Georgina Harrisson

Yeah. So we’ve got people from across the organisation who can help us with school transport, who can help us with logistics around supplies should we need it, who can help us solve those problems that you might face day-to-day as we work our way through the curve management of the COVID-19 virus and those vital services. Mark, it couldn’t be more clear when you’re in an environment like this, just on how much other parts of government and the community are relying on us to continue that educational delivery for our young people.

Mark Scott

So, big days, long days by the team here, just as they are in schools, working with this complexity. It’s been a very long week for our schools if we think back to Monday morning when the social distancing policies came into place. I want to thank everyone for their hard effort in schools, working with students, the support teams we have, your team here at SEOC, George, and everyone across the department. Education is a vital community service and essential service. Nothing more important than creating a safe environment where our kids can learn. So thanks for all your hard work. Thanks for your great efforts this week, long days ahead, but we appreciate everyone’s working together for the greater good.

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