Mount Larcom's disaster recovery centre ready for emergencies
As the higher-risk weather season approaches, communities across Queensland are taking proactive steps to enhance their preparedness and strengthen their community recovery infrastructure.
Mount Larcom, a small town within Gladstone Regional Council, has experienced its share of disasters, including cyclones and bushfires. The 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires resulted in the evacuation of the entire town.
Thanks to the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, the community is now better equipped to handle future emergencies.
Upgrading local showgrounds to a disaster recovery centre
Recognising the need for a safe haven, the Mount Larcom and District Show Society, a local not-for-profit organisation that has operated for more than 100 years, received funding of $68,055. The funding enabled the Society to upgrade the local showgrounds to set up a disaster recovery centre and an animal refuge.
Mick Wallace, Grants Project Manager of the Mount Larcom and District Show Society, worked closely with the Local Disaster Management Group through Gladstone Regional Council. Together, they identified essential upgrades to enhance the showground’s evacuation and refuge capabilities.
“We were lucky to get State and Federal Government funding and in talks with the Local Disaster Management Group we decided to have a disaster recovery centre and set up an animal refuge”, says Mick.
The result was a revamped site, now boasting an array of facilities to ensure the safety of residents and their animals during disasters.
Community haven at Mount Larcom’s disaster recovery centre
Prior to receiving support through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, the disaster recovery centre was upgraded to include camping facilities, toilet and shower blocks, and pavilions with fully equipped kitchen facilities. The main ring area was also able to function as a staging area for disaster management groups or accommodating up to 3,000 head of cattle.
The bushfire grant allowed the District Show Society and Council to complete the upgrades, funding the centre to add efficient lighting and power systems supported by generators, a 20,000 litre water tank, Wi-Fi and a robust PA broadcast system.
Mount Larcom’s disaster recovery centre now provides a haven for residents and their animals, fostering security and reassurance in times of crisis.
"The community is happy to know that they have a place where they can come even with their animals after a disaster and have time to recover and talk to people who can assist them," says Mick.