Evacuation centre needed to protect community
ONE of the driving forces behind Cooktown’s $10 million disaster evacuation and community multipurpose centre is calling for a similar project to be built in Port Douglas.
Senior Constable Russell Jean was part of a community push for Cooktown’s newly-opened disaster evacuation and community centre while stationed there.
After being involved in emergency preparations in Port Douglas for Cyclone Yasi, he believes the need for an evacuation centre in the region became high priority after locals “dodged a bullet”.
He is confident a disaster evacuation centre would not only provide a safe area for locals and tourists during natural disasters, but would also cater for the community’s need for public facilities.
“The community will benefit greatly from the centre from a disaster management point of view and from the point of view of having some facilities for community groups, teenagers, schools, businesses and the locals,” he said.
“I feel the evacuation and what was set up for this area was poorly organised and it is obvious that Port Douglas needs an evacuation centre as there are no such facilities in the area.
“What was set up in Mossman was a disgrace, as far as those that were evacuated there were concerned.
“This cannot happen again. We cannot continue to go along thinking we will be okay and do nothing in preparation for the upcoming cyclone season.”
Right there: Senior Constable Russell Jean points out where he thinks an evacuation centre should be built