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Dealing with Debbie’s wake

The Federal Government deserves credit for coming to the party on a range of critical decisions related to the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). A few weeks ago it was plant hire eligibility for the past few years and the next financial year. This week it's day labour for emergent works for Tropical Cyclone Debbie and her aftermath.

Finally (God bless them) the State Government has agreed to advance cyclone-impacted councils’ cash flow to help with green waste clean-up in advance of the Federal Government agreeing to include this work under a separate Category D NDRRA application.

So, there you go. Lots of goodwill in a time of genuine hardship. All extremely welcome.

On Monday, I attended my last meeting of a continuous three week, twice-a-day attendance at the State Disaster Coordination Centre at Kedron for Queensland Disaster Management Committee meetings, bar three days when the LGAQ’s Glen Beckett ably deputised for me.

As tiring and challenging as these (often long) meetings are, it's never lost on me that we are safe, high and dry and the disasters are never at Kedron, rather they occur in one or multiple 77 council areas around the state.

We are there to help not hinder, solve difficult problems quickly with a minimum of fuss. A big thanks to nine other LGAQ staff who manned the councils’ desk at Kedron 24/7 during the last few weeks.

That said, the absolute stars of this huge natural disaster impacting the state are mayors, councils, CEOs and staff who were and are simply magnificent. Good on you!

And when the last bit of mud is washed away and all the green waste is picked up, it will be time for a sober assessment of what worked well and what we need to work on.

The LGAQ’s upcoming Disaster Management Conference on 9-11 May at Mackay is a great opportunity to have those discussions.

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