FLOOD cameras that keep a close eye on river levels at the Daintree Ferry crossing headline a series of projects in the 2019-20 budget aimed at strengthening disaster resilience in Douglas Shire.
Douglas Shire Council will spend more than $1 million on projects that increase Council’s ability to inform residents and allow the region to persevere through extreme weather.
The Daintree Ferry project will feature an automatic river level gauge and two flood cameras that stream images to the Douglas Dashboard.
Council will aim to install rain gauges in the very Upper Daintree and Bloomfield River.
Rain gauge instruments and river level monitors will also be installed in Port Douglas, Craiglie and Mossman to improve the accuracy of local weather information.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the projects would allow residents to monitor the situation and make informed decisions.
“We know conditions at the Daintree River are unpredictable and can change very quickly, so this will be a valuable tool for everyone during severe weather events,” she said.
“The Douglas Local Disaster Management Group works hard behind the scenes to keep everyone informed and provide advice during our tropical wet season.
“We are empowering ourselves with more accurate and locally-relevant data.”
Council is currently recruiting a specialist Disaster Management Officer to help in the planning, response and recovery from severe weather events.
Council will also spend $600,000 upgrading the Whyanbeel Causeway, which is a known safety hazard during wet weather.
Local Disaster Management Co-ordinator Paul Hoye said upgrades to the Douglas Dashboard would also improve communication with the public.
“The Douglas Dashboard will have more relevant and up-to-date information plugged into it to better inform our community before, during and after events,” he said.
“It is an important disaster management tool, with almost 80,000 people accessing the dashboard about 380,000 times during the past wet season.
“Council staff will also be investigating ways to directly contact residents who want to sign up to emergency alerts.”
Disaster management Capital Works highlights
- VMS Board
- Installation of rain gauge instruments and river level monitors
- Automatic rain gauges at the Port Douglas Wastewater Treatment Plant and Craiglie Pump Station
- Automatic river level gauge and two flood cameras for Daintree Ferry area
- Purchase of flood mapping over Shire
- Upgrade of Guardian IMS disaster management system to Cloud-based
- Various projects submitted to the Qld Disaster Resilience Fund to cover Council’s 50% contribution