BUDGET: Why the council's disaster levy is being increased
THE disaster management levy will be increased by $10 in the council's 2019-20 budget to fund ongoing planning and protection for future disasters in the Fraser Coast.
About $1.2 million from the budget, adopted by the Fraser Coast Regional Council yesterday, will be spent on disaster management and planning, including new flood cameras, an upgraded online disaster dashboard and upgrades to the region's SES compounds.
Other projects include fleet replacements for SES vehicles and drone usage before and after disasters. To allow the council to better prepare and respond to disasters, the disaster management levy will be increased from $11 to $21 in this year's budget.
Councillor and Local Disaster Management Group chairman Rolf Light said the levy change would "significantly increase the capabilities and preparedness of this region in disasters".
"We do live in a sub-tropical climate, there's the possibility of cyclones and we've certainly seen flooding," Cr Light said.
"It's very important this council takes a lead role in disaster preparedness and response, that's our responsibility under the (Local Government) Act."
Cr Light said in the last two years the Fraser Coast had experienced two tornado events, two floods and several bushfires.
"That's why it's vital we have the equipment and staff on deck to effectively deal with, or assist government agencies to deal with, an emergency situation or disaster in our area," he said.