Mayor welcomes funding for new disaster coordination centre

Date published: 8 March 2016

Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill has welcomed Commonwealth and State Government funding towards the construction of a Category 5 cyclone rated Local Disaster Coordination Centre in the city.

Cr Hill said the $1.9 million in funding from joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Resilience Program would ensure the $5.7 million project would proceed.

“Having a coordination centre that can withstand a category 5 cyclone is vitally important for the city’s capacity to manage responses to local disasters before, during and after major events,” Cr Hill said.

“The current coordination centre at the Bamford Street depot is aged, not custom designed and only rated up to a Category 3 cyclone event which is far from ideal in an area that is prone to natural disasters.

“Townsville’s response during Cyclone Yasi in 2011 highlighted a number of deficiencies with the Bamford Lane facility and the priority need to establish a new purpose built (Cat 5) headquarters for emergency responses to disaster events.

“Council’s new coordination centre will be built between the two Walker Street administration buildings and will be designed to withstand and operate through a Category 5 cyclone.

“The joint funding from the Commonwealth and State Governments acknowledges the importance of having a modern, highly effective coordination centre for the city’s protection.

“Construction of a custom built facility will place local disaster response headquarters side by side with the city’s administration centre in the CBD, improve response measures and ensure essential lines of communication remain open during major natural disasters.”

Cr Hill said the construction phased of the two storey facility would support local jobs during construction.

Work on the facility’s design is underway and construction is expected to begin later this year.