Building Ipswich’s disaster resilience

31 August 2022

Enhancing the skills of council employees to help them better support the community in times of disaster was the focus when Ipswich City Council joined with Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), Australian Red Cross, Queensland Police, West Moreton Health, State Emergency Service and local community centres for a disaster training event.

Six months since devastating floods hit the region, recovery efforts and building resilience for future extraordinary weather events remain a priority for council.

Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said council is working with the community and other levels of government to prepare for the coming bushfire and wet seasons.

“To prepare our teams for future natural disasters, staff recently completed training facilitated by QFES in managing evacuation centres and places of refuge which care for residents displaced by the effects of extreme weather and other disasters,” Mayor Harding said.

“Residents who take shelter in evacuation centres during natural disasters feel vulnerable, scared and worried and this training has given staff the skills they need to help and care for those sheltering there.

“Residents are encouraged to plan where they will seek shelter if the need arises as evacuation centres should be used as a last resort and anyone who can stay with friends, neighbours or family are encouraged to do so for additional comfort and privacy.

“Residents are also encouraged to also plan what they will take with them to a place of refuge should they be displaced including toiletries, bedding, footwear and clean clothes.”

Local Disaster Management Group Deputy Chairperson Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said Ipswich City Council, through the City of Ipswich LDMG, retains primary responsibility for managing disaster events contained within the local government area.

“Council is responsible for disaster management and disaster operations during an event, so we conduct regular training as well as reviewing our processing to ensure we are offering the best possible service to residents,” Cr Kunzelmann said.

Local Disaster Management Group Deputy Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said it is important the city continues to build its resilience to natural disasters.

“From floods to fires to storm readiness, our range of emergency management initiatives ensure our residents are kept informed, updated and safe in the event of any emergency,” Cr Milligan said.

“Council offers educational resources and the Ipswich Disaster Dashboard, which is constantly updated through a disaster to give the latest information to residents, as well disaster management for the city.”