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Council convenes Local Disaster Management Meeting in response to COVID-19

Published: 25th March 2020

Council convenes Local Disaster Management Meeting in response to COVID-19

Acting Chair, Cr Tony Rayner, has presided over a meeting of the Longreach Local Disaster Management Group in Longreach today. The meeting followed a District Disaster Management Meeting on Monday.

High on the agenda was securing supply of groceries to vendors in the region – with suppliers experiencing demand spikes in essential items. The meeting has escalated the matter to the District level for assistance, paving the way for state authorities to intervene.

Also on the agenda were measures to discourage visitors from entering the region. One option being considered is roadside variable message boards. Longreach will deploy the signs in the next 24 hours. The group will also raise the matter with the Western alliance of Councils, to consider consistent messaging, and a unified approach, across the north-west, central-west, and south-west regions.

The meeting also received an update on the screening of inbound passengers arriving on the region’s daily flights and the Spirit of the Outback train. Health officials are screening passengers arriving via plane, and a request has been made to extend screening to passengers arriving via rail. Under federal guidelines, only passengers arriving from international destinations are being issued with quarantine notices.

Cr Rayner said while Queensland Health is the lead agency for response to COVID-19 – Council, and the Local Disaster Management Group, still has some role to play in coordinating local initiatives.

“As we’ve heard repeatedly, this is an unprecedented situation. It’s unusual for Queensland Health to be the lead agency in an event, but as the Local Disaster Group, we stand ready to assist where we can.”

He said the group was stepping in to play a leadership role at the local level.

“Council spent much of the last week implementing Business Continuity and Workforce Management Plans – as did most large organisations. Now the time is right to start bringing all those different initiatives together.  

“It makes sense for us to step up – even a state-level response will still need our input.”

Council is encouraging anyone who wants to stay informed about the pandemic to make use of official sites such as qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19 and health.gov.au.


Media Contact – Cr Tony Rayner, Acting Chair, Local Disaster Management Group: 0427 615 357


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