Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill have officially opened Townsville’s new $8.5 million Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC).
The Premier was also joined by Member for Townsville Scott Stewart and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke at the new state-of-the-art centre on Dalrymple Road.
“Queensland is no stranger to natural disasters including cyclones, floods, droughts. We’ve also seen recently prolonged heatwave conditions which contributed to the worst bushfire emergency to impact our state,” the Premier said.
“While bushfires were burning across the State, at the same time we were also faced with Cyclone Owen as it formed off the coast.
“It’s disasters such as this that make LDCCs so important.
“This building is now one of the toughest in North Queensland and rated to withstand a Category 5 Cyclone.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the project had helped boost the local economy by supporting hundreds of jobs.
“The project supported more than 250 jobs during its construction which is great for our economy,” Cr Hill said.
“The LDCC will be the home of disaster response for future major weather events.
“It’s built with 54 tonnes of reinforced steel and almost 650 cubic metres of concrete – making it able to withstand winds of over 300 kilometres an hour.
“We will be able to keep residents informed with updates during an event because of the up-to-date backup power and water supplies, allowing the centre to be self-sufficient in any emergency.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the LDCC had several standout qualities.
“As we edge closer to storm season, it is so important for the community here to feel safe and prepared for chaotic weather,” Mr Stewart said.
“The LDCC will keep residents informed with updates during an emergency or severe weather event.”
Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the facility would enhance the ability of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the Local Disaster Management Group to collaborate during disasters, especially cyclones.
“Community safety is the number one priority,” Ms O’Rourke said.
QFES will have an Emergency Management Coordinator and liaison officers embedded in the LDCC, which will be equipped with technology that will streamline information sharing ensuring everyone is provided with up-to-date and accurate information.
QFES spends a lot of time training, preparing and collaborating with other agencies, including local government, to ensure that its personnel are prepared and well-practiced in disaster response.
The old coordination centre at Bamford Lane was only rated to withstand a Category 3 Cyclone.
$1.9 million towards the project was allocated under the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Resilience Program.