Council looks to face hazards head on

Councillor Smith, Councillor Wickerson, Mayor Williams

Council has this week taken another step toward a more resilient region with the endorsement of two major pieces of work designed to help guide our community’s approach to emergencies and disaster mitigation.

The Emergency Risk Management Assessment and Bushfire Management Study, Strategy and Mitigation Plan are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Mayor Tony Williams said this important work would help inform a long-term, multi-agency approach to hazard management.

“At Council we talk to our community often about the need to understand the natural disasters they could face as an essential step in disaster planning. That is certainly advice we follow ourselves,” Mayor Williams said.

“One of the documents we endorsed is the Emergency Risk Management Assessment. This contains a clear and up to date assessment of the natural hazards that could threaten our region, so we can prepare and make decisions as a community.

“Importantly, this work shows that the nature of the hazards we’re facing is changing. The hazards we typically see as a risk here like cyclones and flooding – aren’t likely to be the biggest threats moving forward.

“Bushfires, however, have been increasing in severity and frequency. Already it’s likely that one bushfire will occur each year in our region, and these are predicted to become even more extreme and complex in the future.

“That’s why we also endorsed the Bushfire Management Study, Strategy, and Mitigation Plan.”

Infrastructure Councillor Ellen Smith said it was fantastic to have this work in place.

“These documents take a complete and honest look at the hazards our region face,” Cr Smith said.

“Importantly, the work around bushfires in particular takes into consideration those communities that are most vulnerable and outlines the actions we can take together to mitigate this hazard.”

Deputy Chair of the LDMG Councillor Wickerson said the work produced is a credit to everyone involved.

“I know there was a huge amount of work that went into these documents,” Cr Wickerson said.

“I want to thank the officers, agencies, volunteers, and community members who have worked with Council on this – this could not have been done without your input.”

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