Council calls for flood sirens

SOMERSET Regional Council wants more warning devices installed in the region to minimise loss if another major flood event occurs.

In the coming week, council will submit a request to the Commission of Inquiry into the January Floods to seek the installation of warning sirens below Wivenhoe Dam.

Council chief executive Robert Bain said more warning systems were needed to alert residents so they have time to get out or salvage what they can.

Dozens of residents had their homes destroyed and lost everything when water inundated homes south of Wivenhoe Dam.

Council said Wivenhoe Pocket was impacted by the January dam releases as soon as 30 minutes after they began.

“We need a multitude of mechanisms in place because some can go down and then there is virtually no way of letting residents know,” Mr Bain said.

“We had email and SMS’ that all went out during the last disaster, so along with those we need to have old mechanisms in place in case one or more fail.

“It’s been suggested by the public that air-raid sirens would be suitable.”

Mr Bain said while sirens could work it would be a “huge” process to install them across the vast area below Wivenhoe Dam.

“We just need to make sure that if a disaster like this is to occur again that it is managed better, and by managing better you give residents more notice. At least then they have a bit of time to move what possessions they can or get in the car and leave.”

Premier Anna Bligh launched the independent commission of inquiry to forensically examine Queensland’s unprecedented flood disaster last month.

“This will be an open, transparent and honest review into what we have just experienced,” Ms Bligh said.

“We owe it to those who have died and to future generations to learn the lessons of these floods.”

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