Council has primary responsibility to coordinate and manage disasters and emergency events if they occur in the region. This is stated under the Disaster Management Act 2003. Council receives support from the State government.
Under the Act, Council must:
- establish a local disaster management group
- develop and approve a local disaster management plan
- be capable of responding if an event occurs
- develop a thorough approach to disaster management - Prevention / Preparation / Response and Recovery
- lead and enable local recovery.
Disaster management systems in Queensland
In Queensland, the disaster management system operates at three levels:
Local Disaster Management Plan
The purpose of the Local Disaster Management Plan is to outline the steps:
- to ensure the safety of the Noosa community
- to preserve lives, livelihoods and the environment.
The safeguarding of human life is priority. The plan is reviewed annually by the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG).
Local Disaster Management Group
The new Noosa Council established the LDMG in January 2014. It is part of Queensland's broader disaster management system. This allows for a gradual increase of support at a local, district and state level as required.
The local group's functions are to:
- Ensure that disaster management and disaster operations in the area are consistent with the State group's strategic policy framework for disaster management for the state.
- Develop effective disaster management, and regularly review and assess the disaster management.
- Help the local government for its area to prepare a local disaster management plan.
- Identify, and provide advice to the relevant district group about, support services required by the local group to facilitate disaster management and disaster operations in the area.
- Ensure the community is aware of ways of mitigating the adverse effects of an event, and preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster.
- Manage disaster operations in the area under policies and procedures decided by the state group.
- Provide reports and make recommendations to the relevant district group about matters relating to disaster operations.
- Identify, and co-ordinate the use of, resources that may be used for disaster operations in the area.
- Establish and review communications systems in the group, and with the relevant district group and other local groups in the disaster district of the relevant district group, for use when a disaster happens.
- Ensure information about a disaster in the area is promptly given to the relevant district group.
- Perform other functions given to the group under this act.
- Perform a function incidental to a function mentioned above.
The LDMG meets four times each year and the meetings are timed to take into account higher risk periods.
- Chair – Cr Tony Wellington
- Deputy Chair – Cr Joe Jurisevic
- Local Disaster Coordinator – Carl Billingham, Noosa Council
- Deputy Local Disaster Coordinator – Ian Florence, Noosa Council
- Key personnel from Council's emergency operations team
- Advisors and representatives from key agencies including:
- Queensland Fire and Emergency Services;
- Queensland Police;
- Queensland Ambulance Service;
- Queensland Fire and Rescue Service;
- State Emergency Services (SES);
- Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services & Seniors;
- Ramsey Health (Noosa Hospital);
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service;
- Surf Lifesaving Queensland;
- Red Cross.
District Disaster Management Group
The District Disaster Management Group (DDMG):
- provides for whole-of-government planning
- coordinates resources to support local governments.
It is chaired by a senior police officer (the District Disaster Coordinator) who has wide ranging powers when a disaster is declared.
The functions of the district group include:
- development of a district disaster management plan
- identification of resources that may be used for disaster operations
- plans for the allocation and coordination of those resources.