Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has slammed claims that the Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is suffering from training shortfalls, saying that the figures quoted by media were outdated.
Cr McLaughlin said “I am incredibly angry that the community was made to feel uneasy about the state of our LDMG training, as the numbers quoted by the media do not accurately reflect the current position of the Burdekin LDMG. Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) and the Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Management Officer have been incredibly proactive in providing in-person and online training opportunities to our LDMG members, particularly in the lead up to disaster season. Consequently, the numbers quoted by the media from October’s internal audit were already outdated by the time the article was released late last week.”
Last week, media outlets claimed that of the current 50 Burdekin LDMG members, 13 members had not completed the Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements Modules (QDMA modules), 23 had not completed Intro to Recovery and 16 Members had not completed Intro to Evacuation.
“I can confirm that every single one of our core LDMG members have completed all relevant training modules.
“I can also confirm that of our LDMG members, only 7 have not completed the QDMA modules and Intro to Evacuation and only 11 have not yet completed the Intro to Recovery. However, nearly all members with training gaps have been members of the LDMG for less than six months, and we expect they will be fully trained within the next six weeks.”
Cr McLaughlin also highlighted that the Burdekin LDMG is significantly larger than most other North Queensland LDMGs.
“We have a total of 50 members in our Burdekin LDMG, which is up from 38 people in March 2018.
“We have been proactive in making sure our LDMG includes stakeholder organisations from across the community. Nearly every organisation has identified at least one deputy who must also complete the relevant training.
“This gives us depth in the LDMG to handle any fatigue management issues, meaning we are in a stronger position for when an emergency does strike.”
Cr McLaughlin went on to say that residents should feel reassured that community safety was the Burdekin LDMG’s first priority.
“Council has heavily invested in understanding and identifying hazards that affect our region and we pride ourselves on our commitment to community resilience.
“Over the past twelve months, not only have we employed a dedicated part-time Disaster Management Officer, we have also developed the Burdekin Emergency Dashboard, distributed an Emergency Action Guide to all Burdekin households, and produced five Community Recovery fact sheets. We will also be running a cinema advertisement from 1 December until the end of May.”