QLD thinks we could learn a lesson or two about floods

FLOOD REVIEW: Lismore SES crews search and rescue people who were stranded in the houses in North Lismore.
FLOOD REVIEW: Lismore SES crews search and rescue people who were stranded in the houses in North Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

QUEENLAND seems to think New South Wales could learn a lesson or two when it comes to reviewing natural disasters.

On October 18, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan issued a joint statement on the QLD review of Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated flooding.

The independent review by Queensland's Inspector-General Emergency Management Iain Mackenzie, included the statement: "TC Debbie was probably the best planned disaster we have ever had”.

His report and the government's response was now public. "We would encourage other governments to look at the report, its recommendations and the Government's response, ” the QLD Premier's spokesman said.

But New Sales Wales State Emergency Service Commissioner, Mark Smethurst, said NSW's Owens Review was enough.

Com Smethurst said he had full confidence in former NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens, who undertook an independent review following the devastating floods where the SES responded to 3400 calls for help and almost 500 flood rescues. Com Smethurst said he was satisfied with the Owens Review and the suggestions, all of which have been endorsed by the SES.

"Our vision is not to accept second-best,” he said.

"If we are to support communities and save lives, then we need to work together.”

A vocal defender of the Lismore SES Unit whom he said made an incredible contribution during these floods, Com Smethurst said he is still disappointed and furious with the small group of people who continue to disparage the dedicated volunteers efforts to assist the community.

"They sacrificed their time from work and family to protect people,” he said. "Often when their own properties and loved ones may have been at risk.”

He said the members are amazing and aims to make NSW SES the best in Australia.

Topics:  flood-sixmonths lismore 2017 floods owens review floods ses tropical cyclone debbie

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