Queensland’s preparedness and response to the widespread flooding that inundated the state’s north in early 2019 will come under the spotlight during a wide-ranging review by the independent body the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM).
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said he had asked IGEM to undertake the review to ensure the best possible disaster management arrangements were in place should a similar event happen.
“The terms of reference for the review have now been released and IGEM will work with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Queensland Police Service, local, state and federal agencies, business owners, members of the public and other relevant parties,” Mr Crawford said.
“These floods have been unprecedented in living memory and it’s imperative that we learn as much as we can through this review to ensure we continue to get better at preparing and responding to flood events such as this in the future.”
The review will assess:
- the preparation and planning by state and local governments and the community;
- the response to the weather event, including measures taken to:
- inform the community;
- protect life and private and public property; and
- manage the supply of essential services;
- dam operations, in particular for the Ross River Dam, and associated emergency procedures;
- resourcing, overall coordination and deployment of personnel and equipment; and
- other related matters the Inspector-General Emergency Management considers relevant, including, for example, land use planning and building codes.
Mr Crawford said a review by IGEM was standard practice in Queensland after major events, including this year’s floods and the 2018 bushfires.
“When I visited Townsville this week, the enormity of what the city’s residents had been through really hit me,” he said.
“The devastation across North Queensland and Far North Queensland – from the coast to inland properties – truly has to be seen to be believed.
“This review will make sure that Queensland is always at the top of its game when it comes to being prepared and being able to best respond when these major events strike.”
Mr Crawford said he expected the review to be complete by the middle of the year.
Submissions can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management, GPO Box 1425, Mail Cluster 15.7, Brisbane, QLD, 4001, by March 31, 2019.
Affected residents can access services and help from www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au or community recovery hubs at the Stanley St State Government Building or the Townsville Stadium in Annandale.
For more information on how you can help residents affected by flooding and to make a donation through The Australian Red Cross Society, UnitingCare, Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland and GIVIT, visit www.qld.gov.au/emergency/emergencies-services/help-disaster.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford