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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Tropical Cyclone Debbie preparations

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    Tropical Cyclone Debbie preparations

    The Palaszczuk Government has stepped up preparations for Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossing the coast early this week with more than 1000 personnel already pre-deployed or on standby. 

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said with advice TC Debbie could cross the Queensland coast near Townsville either late on Monday or early Tuesday as a Category 4 system, the Government was ramping up preparations and urging residents to do the same. 

    “Firstly, I want to thank people across north Queensland for making preparations for Debbie. I urge them to finalise their preparations today. If you are already prepared, check on your neighbour,” the Premier said. 

    “Make sure you have an emergency kit with food and water, check on your neighbours and elderly family members and prepare an evacuation plan.” 

    “Now is the time for residents between Ayr and St Lawrence to stay close to home, secure property and make preparations for the days ahead. Gale force winds are expected to impact the area between Ayr and Mackay this afternoon or evening, and extend south to St Lawrence by tonight. 

    “For residents in Townsville, sandbags are available from Council and a further 20,000 are on the way. Arrangements are underway to replenish food supplies in Townsville.” 

    “Sandbags are also in position and available at Bowen and Mackay. Today is the time to make sure you are prepared for any storm damage impacts.” 

    Whitsunday Regional Council is asking residents who live in the Red Zone for storm tide activation to be prepared to leave by Sunday afternoon. More information is available at http://www.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au/522/Evacuation-Storm-Tide 

    Twenty-five schools between Proserpine and Ayr will be closed tomorrow. The list of schools proposed for closure tomorrow are Airville State School, Ayr East State School, Ayr State High School, Ayr State School, Bowen State High School, Bowen State School, Brandon State School, Burdekin School, Cannonvale State School, Clare State School, Giru State School, Gumlu State School, Home Hill State High School, Home Hill State School, Jarvisfield State School, Kalamia State School, Maidavale State School, Merinda State School, Millaroo State School, Osborne State School, Proserpine State High School, Proserpine State School, Queens Beach State School, Hamilton Island State School and Hayman Island State School.

    The Premier said the Government was working across agencies and with local governments on preparations for TC Debbie. 

    The Queensland Police Service has identified about 100 officers and staff from across the State for deployment to the Far North or Townsville Districts as necessary. 

    The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has 71 additional officers, including the Disaster Assistance Response Team, deployed and are ready to respond where and when required.

    The Queensland Ambulance Service has pre-deployed an extra 25 staff to Townsville and Mackay. 

    Townsville Health and Hospital Service advise linen, food, water, pharmaceutical, and blood supplies fully stocked. Generators have been tested and fuelled and vehicles are fuelled. Patients, including specialist outpatients, were notified Saturday that their appointments and elective procedures will be rescheduled. 

    The Blood Service have also formed a regional incident management committee to ensure ongoing availability of blood products and communication with scheduled donor activities. 

    The RSL Aged Care Facility at Pallarenda, Townsville, is evacuating residents to partnering aged care facilities. 

    Seventy-five technical staff driving more than 30 specialised trucks have headed to north Queensland to assist Ergon Energy crews with any required power restoration post Cyclone Debbie.  These officers are among more than 800 field staff available to be deployed to the response zone from Ergon Energy, Energex and contractor resources 

    Energy Queensland has 125 generators available, 35 mobile generators, four high voltage units, and three mobile substations to assist with the restoration of power in the wake of Debbie. 

    The Department of Communities has pre-deployed four staff to the region. Planning for two co-ordination centres and 11 recovery hubs across the region is well advanced as is planning for up to 70 outreach teams to be set up. For the administration of assistance for families and households, 15,000 debit cards have been dispatched to Townsville, 5,000 to Cairns and 5,000 to Mackay. 

    The Queensland Government’s Child Safety Service Centre building at Stanley Street, Townsville is being made ready for use for “rough sleepers”. An emergency generator and additional security are in place for the building.

    Red Cross is also providing staff to support community members in cyclone shelters in Townsville, Hinchinbrook and Bowen. 

    Ports between Abbot Point and Townsville have been closed. 

    The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has deployed regional liaison officers to Cairns, Townsville and Mackay to provide specialist support to local disaster management groups and councils. 

    Residents should stay tuned to ABC Local Radio as the emergency broadcaster.

    • People in Cairns and Far North Queensland should tune to 106.7FM.
    • People in Townsville and North Queensland should tune to 630AM.
    • People in Mackay and Central Queensland should tune to 101.1FM.

    For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero.

    Media Contact: Kirby Anderson 0417 263 791 or Kerryn Manifold 0428 510 973