Council ensures COVID-safe measures for urgent community evacuations


Redland City Council is encouraging island residents to identify friends and family on the mainland they may be able to stay with as part of their disaster plan for this year’s fire and storm season.

Mayor Karen Williams, who is also chair of the Redlands Local Disaster Management Group, said that with the storm and fire season having arrived, it was timely for island residents to nominate a mainland location in case of evacuations.

“If a bushfire is approaching someone’s home, they obviously cannot shelter in place, so one option may be to shelter with friends or family if it is safe to do so,” she said.

“For people living on the mainland this may be possible, but for our island residents the possibility is less likely, as those people will often be evacuating too.

“So it is important for all island residents to have conversations now with family and friends on the mainland they could shelter with.

“If this is not possible, the next step may be to evacuate people to commercial accommodation providers, in which case Council would determine the provider and assist with transport off the islands.

“We’re unable to confirm accommodation providers ahead of any emergency, as whether we use them is dependent on the circumstances and some providers may themselves need to close due to the event.”

Cr Williams said Council had investigated COVID-safe measures should evacuations be needed due to an emergency situation such as bushfire or widespread floods.

“Because of COVID, it is even more important for residents to identify friends and family they may be able to stay with, which would then reduce how many places are required at evacuation centres,” Cr Williams said.

“As always, decisions will be made in the best interest of public safety in an emergency, and Council will distribute information in a timely manner to help keep people informed.”

“With the storm and fire season upon us, I urge residents, especially island residents, to be prepared by having a three-day supply of food and drinking water available at all times, and to be prepared to evacuate to family and friends on the mainland or other accommodation providers in case that becomes necessary.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said he wanted to remind island residents that should they develop any COVID-19 symptoms and require a test, Mater Pathology collection centres were still open at 2 Alison Crescent, Russell Island and 14 Brighton Road, Macleay Island.

“The pathology service on the islands is supported by mobile collection for those people who find travel to the collection centres difficult,” he said.

“A referral from your doctor is needed, which could be arranged through a telehealth appointment.

“It is best that anyone on the islands with symptoms contacts their doctor for advice.”