More than 80 environmental monitoring devices to be installed across city

Date published: 30 September 2020

Townsville City Council will install more than 80 new environmental monitoring devices across the city over the next 12 months to further bolster the city’s ability to prepare and respond to natural disasters.

The $605,000 project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group chairperson and Mayor Jenny Hill said this project would include the installation of 27 flood monitoring sites, 45 sewer height sensors and six cameras across the region.

“The key component of this project and installing more flood monitoring infrastructure is so the community can receive more near real-time information that will live on our disaster dashboard,” Cr Hill said.

“This was one of the recommendations that came out of the IGEM review and with this confirmation of funding from the DRFA we can now get this project underway.

“This will ensure that in any future natural disaster, we have as much information as possible in the areas that we identified we needed more information for.”

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said improving the region’s resilience to future events was a key priority.

“While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we prepare, and technology like this will allow authorities to get the most appropriate and accurate information and warnings out there as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We’re no stranger to severe weather in the North. That’s why it was important to make this funding available to Council to invest in its systems.

“As the recovery continues from the last event, we need to make sure that we don’t just rebuild, we build back better, and this is a great example of how all levels of government can work together to do just that.”

The installation of the 80 devices is expected to begin this month and is anticipated to be completed by June 2021.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the city had been through a difficult 18 months because of the monsoon and now a global pandemic.

“Investing in infrastructure and creating jobs is key to the Queensland Government’s COVID economic recovery plan,” he said.

“These monitoring devices will be important for the city for many years to come, helping protect North Queenslanders and their communities.”

“Everyone felt the impact of last year’s floods and many people are feeling the impact of COVID-19 now, but last year, Townsville showed its resilience and the community is doing this again.”

Infrastructure Committee chairperson Mark Molachino said the new flood monitoring sensors and cameras would help provide more data across the city in another natural disaster.

“Having a larger network of sensors and cameras gives frontline agencies and staff more data and a greater capacity to respond in a natural disaster,” Cr Molachino said.

“The infrastructure we are looking to install includes Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) spec gauges, sewer height sensors, live-stream cameras and will be placed in locations where there was an identified need for more data.

“This is important for protecting natural and residential areas downstream and monitoring overflows of our stormwater and sewage networks.”