National Disaster Award Win Following 2022 Flood Response

Published 05 July 2023

Disaster Management team with national award.jpg

Moreton Bay’s response and recovery learnings process following the severe wet weather event that hit southeast Queensland in February 2022 has been celebrated as the best in Australia by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC).

Council won the 2023 Lessons Management Award at a ceremony in Canberra on June 27 for its extensive work in reviewing its actions after that infamous “rain bomb” event, to improve future flood emergency responses.

Mayor Peter Flannery said the national award was recognition for outstanding leadership and commitment to improve practices that will ultimately keep the community safe during future events.

“I honestly couldn’t be prouder and I want to recognise everyone involved for not only keeping our community safe and informed through an incredibly difficult period, but for then having the willingness to go back and look at where we can improve,” Mayor Flannery said.

“The professionalism and dedication of our disaster team and all the council crews involved in things like evacuation centres, road repairs, providing medical assistance, coordinating supply drops, organising emergency accommodation and many other things means locals know we’ve got their back and we’re ready to act when things go bad.

“In fact the winner of the 2022 AFAC Lessons Management Award was Australia’s Department of Defence for the COVID-19 Taskforce, that’s the kind of league this award puts Moreton Bay Council in. So I really can’t contain my pride regarding their efforts.”

The rains that dumped down on Moreton Bay in February 2022 were the largest rainfalls seen in the Moreton Bay Region this past decade, with many locations within the region recording the equivalent or greater of annual rainfall totals in just seven days.

The resulting floods had devastating impacts on the community and required a significant multi-agency response to initially support those in danger and then to support the recovery process following the event.

Mayor Flannery said in an effort to be even better prepared for future floods, Council staff analysed and processed over 1,600 pieces of feedback.

“Following the floods Council’s Disaster Management team, held multiple comprehensive debrief sessions and interviews with key stakeholders, volunteers, consultants and residents to find out what we did well and where we need to improve,” Mayor Flannery said.

“From that they’ve developed a range of recommendations including additional staff training, how to maintain Council’s Disaster Dashboard with more timely and useful information that the community’s looking for, and also how to more efficiently provide emergency services with our flood mapping so that they can respond more effectively.

“This was a detailed exercise that’s provided Council with an opportunity to understand how we can better support our communities into the future and develop better resilience.

“Hazards and extreme events are inevitable, but we can take action to minimise their impact and promote recovery, and we know this is more important than ever in response to our changing climate.

“We can all play our part as a community by preparing our homes, families and businesses for future risk by putting together our emergency plans and emergency kits.”

Sign up to MoretonAlert to receive emergency warnings prior to an event, and make sure to check out Council’s Disaster Dashboard to stay up to date with real time information when disaster happens.