Buses available for voluntary evacuation from Ayr & Home Hill to Cairns area

Evacuation pre-event

A voluntary evacuation has been arranged for the areas of Home Hill, Ayr and surrounds.

To facilitate the evacuation, Local government has arranged for 9 buses to move those persons requiring evacuation from Home Hill Train Station and Ayr Train Station to Cairns.

People wishing to be evacuated can attend the relevant train station from 7.30am on Monday the 27th March 2017 for registration.

The buses are limited to 46 people per bus, with the additional conditions below:

  • Four (4) buses will be arriving at Home Hill train station;
  • Five (5) buses will be arriving at Ayr train station;
  • Due to limited space there will be ‘NO’ pets allowed to travel on the buses;
  • Buses are limited to the pick-up locations as specified, no other pick-ups can be facilitated;
  • Personal belongings are limited to clothing and toiletries;
  • Evacuated persons are advised to take sufficient clothing to cater for 3 to 5 days;
  • Evacuated persons requiring specific prescription medication should ensure they take it with them;
  • Due to ‘NO’ pets being allowed to travel on the buses, people intending to evacuate should ensure sufficient food and water is left for their animals and animals are secured.

The evacuation centre you will be transported to is within the Cairns area.

Repatriation post event

Arrangements for return of evacuated persons will be updated at a later time. This information will be able to be found on the www.burdekin.qld.gov.au

Evacuation of Residents in Coastal Communities

The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) wishes to advise of a directed evacuation of residents in Alva Beach, Groper Creek, Jerona, Wunjunga and some areas of Rita Island due to Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently a Category 2 system and is likely to reach Category 4 intensity at the time of crossing the Queensland coast.

Based on current forecasts a significant storm tide is expected across the Burdekin Shire Council area.

The Storm Tide is expected to effect and inundate the coastal communities of Alva Beach, Groper Creek, Jerona, Wunjunga and some areas of Rita Island. Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services, the Hon. Mark Ryan MP has declared a disaster situation under Section 64 of the Disaster Management Act 2003 and therefore a directed evacuation of these areas has commenced.

If your property is located in these areas, you should finalise your cyclone preparations and packing of your evacuation kit and evacuate the coastal communities by Monday morning.

Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group Chair, Cr. Lyn McLaughlin advised that residents should seek shelter with friends or family in safer places, to remove yourself from the Storm Tide risk.

“If you are unable to find alternative accommodation, the Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds will be opened on Monday 27 March, 2017 at 8am as a place of last resort,” Cr. McLaughlin said today.

The most current information is available from the BOM website (http://www.bom.gov.au) and Council’s website (http://www.burdekin.qld.gov.au) and Facebook pages (Burdekin Shire Council and Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre).

Place of Refuge for Evacuation Zones and Vulnerable Residents

The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) wishes to advise that the Burdekin Multi-Purpose facility at the Ayr Showgrounds will be opening on Monday 27 March, 2017. The facility is intended as a short term shelter option and has very basic amenities.

The Place of Refuge must be considered as the last option for residents that live in an evacuation zone or feel vulnerable, having exhausted all other shelter options and are unable to leave the warning area.

It is important to note that the facility has limited capacity and you will need to be aware of the following:

  • You will need to be seated in a chair and will not be able to lie or sit on a mattress or stretcher;
  • Domestic pets and other animals will not be allowed in the shelter and you will need to make other arrangements for sheltering your pets prior to the cyclone season.  Note:  assistance animals are permitted to enter the shelter and stay with owners;
  • All personal belongings are to be kept within a backpack or small bag able to fit under a chair.  You will need to be self-sufficient and support yourself and your family for the duration of the shelter period, so you need to include personal medications, essential non-perishable food and refreshments, identification papers and essential personal items.  Anything deemed oversized and / or unnecessary will not be permitted into the shelter;
  • There are no public cooking facilities, limited bathroom facilities, and limited medical support provided;
  • No smoking is permitted;
  • There will be limited transport and parking options – please follow direction of Council staff;
  • When using the refuge, you may be in the facility for up to 18 hours or more.  During these times the building will be “locked down” for a period when the cyclone is passing.  To ensure the structural integrity of the building and the safety of occupants there will be NO ability to enter OR leave the shelter while it is in “lock down”; and The Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds will be opened from 8am, Monday 27 March 2017.

LDMG Chair, Cr. Lyn McLaughlin said “residents’ safety is the first priority and encourages users of the Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds to be well prepared for their stay, to be considerate of others and to follow directions of Emergency Services personnel.”

The Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds will be opened from 8am, Monday 27 March 2017.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie – Update 4

The latest update from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) indicates that Tropical Cyclone Debbie is starting to adopt a west-southwest track towards the north Queensland coast and is currently forecast to intensify into a category 3 system this evening. Tropical cyclone Debbie is likely to intensify further prior to making landfall between Lucinda and the area north of Mackay on Tuesday morning.

Areas of heavy rain with the potential to cause severe flash flooding are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas late on Sunday and continue through Monday and Tuesday. Major river flooding may also develop over a broad area next week and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cairns and Gladstone, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments.

The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair, Cr, Lyn McLaughlin advised that the LDMG met this morning at 9am. The LDMG have a number of key messages for the community:

Key Messages:

  • Have your Cyclone Emergency Kit ready – including food and water for 3 days fuel in car, cash money, medication, torch, batteries, radio etc.
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Tune into Sweet FM 97.1 or your “local” radio station for regular updates.
  • Clean up your yards.
  • Check your homes and make secure.
  • Organise a safe place for your pets and remember food and water for them for 3 days.
  • Check on relatives, neighbours and any elderly residents you know.

Transfer Stations Opening Times:

  • Ayr Transfer Station is operating as normal from 9am-5pm today.
  • Home Hill Transfer Station is also open from 10am-5pm today.
  • Giru Transfer Station will be opened from 3pm-6pm today.
  • Kirknie Landfill which will be open from 8.30am-5pm today.
  • SES headquarters in Ayr, Home Hill and Giru will have sand and sand bags available.

There are no places of refuge open at present; however consideration will be given to opening the Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds on Monday 27 March, 2017 as Tropical Cyclone Debbie gets closer to the coast. At this stage, Council is advising concerned residents to seek shelter with family or friends. If residents are planning to leave the district, it is advised to do so today (Sunday) and check road conditions before leaving.

Council has received advice from the Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk notifying that twenty-five state schools between Proserpine and Ayr will be closed tomorrow.

Council’s Customer Service Call Centre will be manned today (Sunday 26 March) from 8am to assist with telephone enquiries.

The most current information is available from the BOM website (http://www.bom.gov.au) and Council’s website (http://www.burdekin.qld.gov.au) and Facebook pages (Burdekin Shire Council and Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre).

The LDMG will continue to work closely with the District Disaster Management Group (DDMG) and the State Disaster Coordination Centre monitoring the developments of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Please be assured that the situation is being constantly monitored.

State Government Departments are ramping up their preparations with additional resources being provided. Emergency Services have also deployed additional staff to the region.

The LDMG will be reconvening at 4pm on Sunday 26 March, 2017.

Planning ahead: Telstra urges residents to prepare this weekend

24 March 2017

With a potential tropical cyclone on the way, Telstra is encouraging northern Queensland residents to be prepared so that can stay connected.

“It’s important to think ahead. Staying connected in an emergency situation could be paramount to the safety of you and your loved ones,” said Telstra Area General Manager Rachel Cliffe.

“Here are a few of Telstra’s tips on what you can do now that will make it easier to stay connected during a disaster. Try not to rely on any one of these things – make sure you have several options covered to stay connected.”

Mobile phones

Alternative phone charger

If you haven’t already, purchase a phone charger that isn’t dependent on a power outlet. Solar power chargers, in-car chargers and power bank chargers are all reliable options. Make sure you charge your power bank.

Back up data

Back up important data, like contact information and photos, to your cloud.

Know your numbers

Compile a list of essential contact numbers to store in your phone and keep them close at hand, including local Police, Fire, SES, family, friends and Telstra’s fixed line fault line – 13 22 03.

Satellite phones

Satellite phones are usually immune to damaged infrastructure and can operate in remote locations. If communications are critical you could consider a satellite phone.

Fixed line phones

Have a spare battery

Remember, most modern cordless phones rely on electric power to operate, so you may lose the use of your landline during a power outage. Consider a phone with a battery backup function and keep spare batteries nearby.

For our NBN customers

It’s important to remember if your home phone now works through the modem and there’s a power outage, your phone line will also be down. Best to have a mobile phone handy, or a satellite phone for those in remote areas.

Keep a spare plug-in phone handy

Your cordless phone is great, but using a plug-in phone connects you to the telephone exchange.

Social Media

Virtual meeting place

Set up an instant messaging group with family and friends. Agree in advance to update each other here during an emergency.

Emergency apps

Download emergency service apps. They will give up to date warnings and incident information issued by official agencies across Australia.

Local information sources

Identify key local agency social media accounts and websites for real time information on what’s happening in your area.

Be alert

Subscribe to text and emails that will alert you to weather changes, road closures and local emergency services updates.

Know your emergency broadcaster

Have a battery powered radio with spare batteries to listen to the news

The Telstra Network

Telstra is also taking steps to protect network infrastructure where possible, and working closely with communities to ensure they remain connected.

“We have a range of portable base stations that could be deployed to provide temporary telecommunications during an emergency situation and our teams will be on the ground working hard to maintain services for our customers and restore communications in the event of an emergency.”

During an emergency, customers can monitor our Service Status site to help keep up to date on any network impacts and restoration activities.


Back to top