Shelter proposed for coast

A $6 MILLION cyclone shelter, capable of shielding up to 500 people from the ravages of a Category Five storm, will be built on the Capricorn Coast and could be ready for the next cyclone season.

Councillors were told that the Queensland Government had decided to erect one of 10 shelters in the Rockhampton region after receiving a $30 million gift from the United Arab Emirates in response to the summer’s destructive weather. The government will match the gift.

Rockhampton had been considered as a site, but officers recommended the Barmaryee multi-sport complex currently under construction, and Yeppoon State High School as preferred locations because if a cyclone were to hit, its impact would be greater closer to the sea.

The government had given the council just five days to confirm it wanted one of the shelters and to recommend suitable sites. Both possible locations will be put forward for the government to decide which best suits its purpose.

Cr Bill Ludwig said he believed the council should indicate a preference for Barmaryee.

There’s room for emergency helicopters to land, parking for hundreds of cars and the shelter could be used as a sports arena, he said.

But others, including Cr Tony Williams, favoured the high school because it was closer to the main population centre.

And Cr Brett Svendsen, whose division includes Emu Park, was angry that no consideration had been given to the southern end of the Capricorn Coast.

The government is expected to announce the location on July 1 and construction work is expected to start later this year.

More than 8000 people took cover in makeshift evacuation centres in February when Cyclone Yasi hit the coast



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