Disaster plan work starts

WORK has started on a plan to help the Lower Eyre Peninsula and other communities around the state be better prepared for a disaster. 

The Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council was chosen to pilot the project due to its past experience with fire recovery.

BNJ Consultants will work with a newly established Council Disaster Ready Committee over the next six months with an aim to adopt a finalised plan in July.

Grant funding from the Local Government Association Research and Development Scheme and support from the State Recovery Office will support the project.

The project will identify gaps in community recovery planning and include engagement with government agencies and the community.

Mayor Julie Low said South Australia had been impacted by a number of serious bushfires and floods in recent years, including the Pinery fire of 2015, Sampson Flat in 2015 and the Wangary fire of 2005.

She said as part of the project a recovery template would be prepared in a format that could be adapted by all rural councils to a range of disaster events.

Ms Low said the community would get the opportunity to contribute to the project at forums at Cummins, Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln. 

“The forums will be aimed at identifying gaps in community recovery, education in relation to ‘who does what’ in the recovery process and identifying the role the community can play in recovery,” she said. 

The council’s chief executive officer Rod Pearson said the project evolved from the council’s strategic plan and from discussion with the State Recovery Office.

“We want to ensure council’s roles and responsibilities are known and documented so that in the event of a natural disaster such as bushfire, we have a pre-planned unified and appropriate response,” Mr Pearson said.

Community forums will be held from 10am to 2pm at the Cummins Bowls Club, March 23, (RSVP to the council by March 17); Coffin Bay Yacht Club, April 3 (RSVP by March 29) and the Port Lincoln Golf Club, April 13, (RSVP by April 7).