Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Disaster Management Planning

The Black Summer bushfires and a series of floods have helped to shape the 2023 Scenic Rim Local Disaster Management Plan.

The updated plan follows a review of the Local Disaster Management Plan from August 2019 and has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders and government agencies.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen, who chairs the Local Disaster Management Group, said that the region’s experience since 2019 had contributed to strengthening Council’s disaster management framework and response.

“Whilst we live in what I believe is the greatest place on Earth, living in a beautiful natural environment carries certain risks that we need to consider and prepare for,” he said.

“The Scenic Rim has the potential to be impacted by severe storms, flash flooding and bushfires and, while we cannot eliminate risks and hazards, we can take the necessary steps to ensure we are prepared for a potential emergency.”

The 2023 Scenic Rim Local Disaster Management Plan outlines how to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster or emergency event.

It considers a range of disasters, including those that disrupt essential services or may involve an attack against the state and, through its strategies, aims to reduce the impact of a disaster and assist in the community’s recovery.

The plan has been updated to incorporate experience from the Black Summer bushfires that began in September 2019, as well as a series of extreme weather events which led to the establishment by Council of the Scenic Rim’s Community Disaster Volunteer group.

“The focus of the plan, as required by the Disaster Management Act 2003, is to minimise the effects of significant emergencies and disaster events within the Scenic Rim community by ensuring a coordinated, approach to risk management involving prevention, preparedness, response and recovery strategies at local, state and federal government levels in conjunction with emergency services,” Mayor Christensen said.

“Through effective pre-planning, we can prepare our community and enhance our resilience to the adverse impact of any threat.”

Mayor Christensen encouraged members of the Scenic Rim community to view the plan on Council’s website and also to prepare for the approaching bushfire season coupled with the forecast El Nino weather conditions.

Council’s disaster preparedness publication, Would You Be Ready?, available on Council’s website and at Scenic Rim Libraries and Customer Service Centres, has been developed specifically for the community to understand potential natural disasters and how being prepared could minimise the impact of a flood, cyclone or bushfire.

“Given the forecast for drier conditions this year, now is the time to prepare by cleaning up around your property and removing debris and reviewing your ‘what if’ plans ahead of a summer season that is likely to have heightened risks of bushfire,” he said.

“Owners of larger properties should clear fire breaks and reduce fuel loads but it’s important to work with your local rural fire captain before undertaking any controlled burns to avoid sparking a bushfire.”