From November 2014 through to May 2015 Queensland endured several significant weather events – including Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, Tropical Cyclones Nathan and Lam, as well as their devastating effects such as the related flooding in the Callide Valley.
Five key government agencies undertook six evaluations seeking to improve disaster responses.
Additionally, the Inspector-General, Emergency Management (IGEM), a role established in 2013 to provide assurance of public safety in the area of disaster and emergency management, undertook a further five reviews. These reviews and their recommendations are available on the IGEM Reports and Publication page.
These evaluations resulted in 160 recommendations and of these recommendations, 103 (65%) have already been delivered and as a result, Queensland was well placed to respond swiftly to recent disaster events. Improvements include:
A new Immediate Hardship Assistance—Essential Services grant, for people who have lost one or more essential services, such as power, for more than five days. A $150 grant is available per person or up to $750 for a family of five or more.
An online grants portal for people experiencing immediate personal hardship following a disaster, is currently in development. This will allow people who have been impacted by a disaster to apply, be assessed and receive payments direct to their bank account without having to queue for hours at a recovery centre.
A revision of roles and responsibilities, with Queensland Reconstruction Authority now coordinating whole-of-government disaster recovery, resilience and mitigation policy including flood risk management.
The creation of a standing state recovery coordination role, to be filled by an existing senior executive officer. This role will facilitate better coordination of recovery planning and preparations across the range of agencies involved in the long term recovery of individuals and communities impacted by disasters.
Remaining recommendations will be progressively implemented over the coming months, taking note of lessons learned from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Further information is available by clicking on the links below:
Further information on how to get ready for the disaster season, disaster resources and financial support can be obtained from the Queensland Government's Disaster Management website: http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/