Western Downs residents urged to get 'Ready Together'

Published on 03 October 2023

Dalby Fire 2 Oct

Western Downs residents are being urged to prepare their homes and families for severe weather as hot, dry conditions continue and the summer storm season approaches. 

With much of the region on high alert for bushfires, Western Downs Regional Council is encouraging residents to understand their risks, prepare their household emergency plans, and ensure they have what they need should disaster strike.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said it was vital residents heeded advice to get prepared and encouraged residents to take part in upcoming community events aimed at building community preparedness and resilience.

"The Western Downs has experienced its fair share of wild weather over recent years, which is why it's crucial residents play their part in ensuring their homes and families are as prepared as possible," Cr McVeigh said.

"To support residents to get ready, Council is partnering with local emergency services and support agencies to host a dedicated 'Ready Together' community day at Chinchilla's Bulldog Park on Saturday 21 October.

"This special event will be jam-packed with activities and entertainment, with special appearances from Australian comedian and speaker Sean Choolburra and NRL legend Shane Webcke, live music, demonstrations, information stalls, and food and drink vendors.

"This is a great opportunity to gain face-to-face advice from emergency services and supporting agencies to prepare for the impacts of severe weather and learn about the various support options available before, during, an after a disaster event."

Cr McVeigh said now was the time to understand your disaster risks and learn more about Queensland's disaster response. 

"We have seen the devastating impacts of bushfires and floods and the effects severe weather events can have on our towns, so it’s crucial we band together and build resilience in our community," he said.

"Along with the rest of the country, Council has implemented the Australian Warning System into its disaster planning, which will give residents consistent warning messaging during times of disaster.

"The new system is rolling out across the country this year, and I implore residents to learn more about this national approach by visiting the Australian Warning System website."

Rural Fire Service Regional Manager Supt. Wayne Waltisbuhl said it wasn’t too late to ensure your household was protected from the risk of bushfire.

“Due to the current dryness of vegetation, there have been several fires started by machinery such as movers and slashers,” Supt. Waltisbuhl said.

“It’s important to have a spotter observing the activity and equipment on hand that can extinguish any potential fires when they are small.

“Clearing vegetation around out buildings, cattle yards, and sheds will make it much safer for the landowner and fire fighters to protect.

“People need to act now to develop their bushfire survival plan and identify things such as what to take if you had to leave your property, what would you do with your animals, who would you need to contact, and how can I prepare my home.”

To further-bolster Council's disaster management plans, Council is also investing $940,000 into new and improved flood gauge technology this financial year with help from the state and federal disaster funding arrangements, which is part of a massive $5 million program of disaster preparedness and recovery projects that Council is currently delivering.

The upgraded flood gauges will give Council greater access to accurate and timely information about flood levels across the region, which will further-support community preparedness and resilience during wet weather events. 

To learn more about Council's 'Ready Together' Day: Ready Together Day

To learn more about the Australian Warning System: Australian Warning System

To learn how to get prepared visit Get Ready Queensland: Home | Get Ready Queensland

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