Ebony Battersby

Disaster group critical for community protection

COUNCILS statewide are pushing for a state and local government group to be re-established to better protect communities from floods, cyclones, storms and bushfires.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council's motion to bring back the State Disaster Management Group received widespread support at the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference earlier this week.

One key element of the motion was that the LGAQ continue as a member of the SDMG to ensure better coordination between both tiers of government.

The LGAQ said the disaster group was the key policy and decision-making body within the Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements until it was absorbed by the Queensland Disaster Management Committee, which was created last year.

Although a member of the SDMG, the LGAQ was not invited to join the newly established committee.

The local government organisation will continue to lobby for the reinstatement of the SDMG.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, who was mayor during the 2011 Grantham floods that killed 12 people, said councils and communities could not prepare for all natural disasters.

"Any time in any part of Queensland we can get a disaster no one is expecting," he said.

The council argued the SDMG would provide leadership for the development of local resilience to emergencies and disaster events.

- APN NEWSDESK



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