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

    2000 staff pre-deployed or on standby for Tropical Cyclone Debbie

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Monday, March 27, 2017

    2000 staff pre-deployed or on standby for Tropical Cyclone Debbie

    The Palaszczuk Government has pre-deployed or put on standby almost 2000 staff in readiness for Tropical Cyclone Debbie to cross the Queensland coast early tomorrow morning.

    Speaking after the Queensland Disaster Management Committee meeting tonight, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said across multiple agencies – and in partnership with local councils and the Australian Defence Force - the Government has made comprehensive preparations for Tropical Cyclone Debbie, its damaging winds, heavy rains and high tides.

    “My priority is to keep Queenslanders safe. We have ensured our staff are pre-deployed or on standby to support communities,” she said.

    The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service have 146 staff, including the Disaster Assistance Response Team, have been deployed and are ready to respond. More than 500 SES staff are in place in the region across the region.

    The Queensland Police Service have 40 additional personnel have deployed, and a further 270 officers and other staff are on standby to deploy.

    The Queensland Ambulance Service has pre-deployed 25 staff to Townsville and Mackay and the State Ambulance Coordination Centre (SACC) has been stood up.

    The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has deployed regional liaison officers to Burdekin and Whitsundays to provide specialist support to local disaster management groups and councils. Eight damage assessment officers are on standby to assist QFES on the ground.

    Ergon Energy has been stood up and is making preparations. To date, 800 energy workers including North Queensland-based employees and contractor resources are ready to respond.  Communities reliant on Ergon have sufficient fuel supplies in place. Generation assets are being moved closer to the likely impact zones. Ergon has 125 generators and three mobile substations.

    Powerlink has 60 staff on standby in Townsville and Mackay to respond to issues.

    More than 317 Schools, TAFEs, Early Childhood Education and Care Services are closed in the impacted regions. Visit the Department of Education's closure website at

    The Department of Housing and Public Works have 336 staff are on standby for deployment, including Housing and Homelessness Services staff and Building and Asset Services staff.

    Six Community Recovery specialist staff are prepositioned in North Queensland. A further 300 Ready Reservists are available for immediate deployment following the impact, when possible and safe to do so.

    The Department of Communities’ planning is well advanced with worst case scenario planning including the provision of service options through up to 13 Recovery Hubs and 70 Outreach teams. The Department has provided 30,000 debit cards to north and far north Queensland to streamline access to assistance for affected families and households.

    The Australian Defence Force has been stood up and is ready to deploy teams to affected areas.

    Emergency information

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

    • 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 (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791