SA government seeking staff for COVID-19 control centre

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday August 25, 2020

SA government agencies claim they can’t support the needs of cloud computing. (Image: Adobe/dudlajzov)

The South Australian government is on the hunt for public servants to joins its COVID-19 response headquarters.

Health and wellbeing minister Stephen Wade on Monday said 40 more employees would be brought in to the State Control Centre Health (SCC-H), with an Expression of Interest to circulate throughout the public sector this week.

“By recruiting an additional 40 staff to work in the SCC-H, we will secure a more sustainable workforce model for the next 12 to 24 months who will be an integral part of the state’s COVID-19 response,” he said.

“It’s vital the resources come from across the public sector to support the continued unified response and the sharing of knowledge in a timely manner across all arms of government.”

The EOI would be open to staff from various levels across government agencies — including SA Health — and would seek people with experience working in an operation centre. The additional staff would fulfil functions in five key areas including operations, planning, logistics, intelligence and exemptions.

State Control Centre Health commander Paul McGowen said the SCC-H would also be moved to a larger space within SA Health headquarters next month.

“The SCC-H has been the central hub of the latest information, data, and planning since its establishment in March,” he said.

“In order to safeguard the ongoing response, our new fully self-contained space will be set up in a more structured way with more secure access arrangements, improved infection control measures and greater flexibility for the larger workforce.”

A larger control centre would ensure SA was better equipped to deal with the long-term challenges posed by the pandemic, while bolstering SA’s communication, logistics, intelligence and exemptions capabilities would help protect the public from the virus, Wade noted.

“South Australians have done a magnificent job in coming together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to this point, but we are determined to plan for every scenario. We cannot know whether we are through the worst of the pandemic. Now is the time to continue to prepare to avoid the worst,” he said.

“We know COVID-19 is not going to disappear anytime soon and while it may seem we are in the recovery phase, we need to be prepared for any number of scenarios by responding quickly to new cases, working to keep the community safe and ultimately, rebuilding our economy.”

On Monday the state recorded no new cases of the virus, with three active cases and 456 recoveries. Four South Australians have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

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