Independent reviews from the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM) have endorsed Queensland’s handling of its most recent natural disasters.

The reviews were ordered following the 2018 Bushfires and 2019 North Queensland Floods and looked into how the government handled and managed natural disasters.

Key findings include:

  • The safe operation of the Ross River Dam prevented more widespread flooding in Townsville
  • Queensland should reassess its risk for heatwaves and bushfires

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the government had accepted either in principle or in full all 37 recommendations the reviews have made.

Importantly, Ms Palaszczuk said the reports include the views of more than 500 members of communities directly affected.

“In the 2018/19 season, Queensland was hit by eleven separate natural disasters,”  Ms Palaszczuk said.

“In a short amount of time communities have come a long way in recovering from the bushfires and the monsoonal trough which is thanks to a lot of hard work.

“But the best way to get ready for the next natural disaster is to learn from the last.”

Emergency Services Minister, Craig Crawford, said no-one could argue with the reviews’ key finding.

“It’s there in black and white – ‘exceptional’ – and the way our emergency workers, communities and councils came together is truly worthy of the word,” Mr Crawford said.

QFES Acting Commissioner, Mike Wassing, said QFES had also undertaken their own internal review which complemented the findings of the IGEM report.

“I’m confident with the actions QFES will take following these recommendations, and the work already being undertaken, QFES will be stronger than ever,” Mr Wassing said.

Flood recommendations include: 

  • Better management of evacuation centres, especially for vulnerable people and better communication with those in the centres
  • Ongoing development of online ‘dashboards’ as a local point of truth in disasters
  • Better coordination of offers of help and donations

Bushfire recommendations include:

  • $16 million over four years in the 19-20 budget to improve bushfire management in state national parks and forests
  • More Fire Behaviour Analysts
  • ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for help and advice on fire breaks