Mayor Peter Maguire and council staffer Glenn Bell arrive at the flood inquiry yesterday in Emerald.
Mayor Peter Maguire and council staffer Glenn Bell arrive at the flood inquiry yesterday in Emerald. Daniel Burdon

Gauge to give extra flood warning

AN extra 24 hours warning could be available to the Central Queensland town of Emerald to prepare for major floods, if a single measuring device was installed in a nearby creek.

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire was one of three people called as a witness to give evidence to the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry during hearings in Emerald yesterday.

Both Mr Maguire and the local disaster co-ordinator, Bill Wilkinson, said the council was in communication with several agencies during the floods, including Sunwater and a local hydrologist.

Both witnesses said that two measuring points at Craigmore and Raymond, upstream of the Nogoa River, would give the best indicator of “where, when and how big” a flood in the town would be.

But a third river and rain gauge, on the Vandyke Creek upstream of the Craigmore measuring station, could give the town up to 24 hours more to prepare for a flood in the future.

Mr Wilkinson said lessons had been learnt since the 2008 floods, including instigating a new software system.

He said the new Guardian software allowed logging of every job, and allocating of each job to appropriate agencies, including police, SES and the council.

But he said, as the regional council's borders did not follow the river catchment area, some data was hard to come by.

Mr Wilkinson said the software should be available to all local councils, but the State Government should not have access.

Mr Maguire said the council was already working to have two new river gauges installed in the region, but not yet on the Vandyke Creek.

He said while an SMS system had also helped, many rural residents near Rolleston did not have mobile coverage.



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