Access to information crucial during a crisis

Date published: 29 September 2020

International Access to Information Day has put the spotlight on access to information during a crisis.

The theme for 2020 was access to information in times of crisis, and highlights the importance of platforms like Townsville City Council’s Disaster Dashboard for transparency during a disaster.

Chair of the Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Mayor Jenny Hill said the Townsville Disaster Dashboard was a crucial resource during the unprecedented monsoon.

“The Disaster Dashboard was visited by community members more than 3.7 million times during the unprecedented monsoon last year – that is 3.7 million times crucial information was accessed during one of the worst disasters the city has ever seen,” Cr Hill said.

“Having this information readily available to the community is vital for keeping our residents safe and allowing them to make informed decisions during times of crisis.

“As we come into the wet season, the Disaster Dashboard will be important for providing any significant weather updates and information to our residents – including road closures, media releases, and weather warnings.”

Council also releases information through platforms such as Townsville Dashboards, Open Data, e-planning, and the public website.

Business Services and Finance Committee chairperson Kurt Rehbein said Council is dedicated to being open and transparent with the community.

“Council implemented significant changes after the transformation of the organisation and the OIC report to improve accountability and transparency,” Cr Rehbein said.

“As part of this process we have developed several platforms where the community is able to easily access information about Council including Townsville Dashboards, Have Your Say Townsville, and livestreaming of the Full Council meetings.

“Since the launch of Townsville Dashboards, more than 59 datasets have been accessed over 13,800 times and Council has released more than 8,000 documents to the public.

“Council routinely releases information through platforms like Townsville Dashboards and we encourage all residents to take advantage of these resources to stay up to date on what is happening around the city.”

Visit Townsville’s Disaster Dashboard and Townsville Dashboards.