Mayor slams State Govt flood response
BRAD Carter says decisions on deploying military vehicles during disasters need to be made locally after a call for a military vehicle to evacuate flood-hit residents was ignored.
The Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor gave evidence at the hearing that early on in the floods he requested an army Unimog truck to carry people through flooded waters to safety.
“We asked for a ... military Unimog and that request was declined for whatever reason I’m not sure,” Cr Carter said.
“We thought that was a reasonable request.” A Fire and Rescue vehicle was used instead.
When floodwaters receded he again requested a Unimog, this time to transport food supplies to isolated people in Gracemere.
He said a Lieutenant Colonel attended the Local Disaster Management Group with the keys in his pocket for a Unimog but he was unable to grant the request.
Cr Carter questioned why the senior officer was not able to hand over the keys and said the decision-making process needed to be made at a local level.
“The decision to deploy military equipment needs to be done at a strategic higher level early in a disaster but the actual deployment ... that decision has to be made locally and has to be made when the need is identified (so) it does not need a two-day, three-day response.”
Cr Carter also criticised Emergency Management Queensland for refusing to pay $20,000 for flood barriers to be moved to Rockhampton in December.