Emer­gency ser­vices show school site sup­port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

LO­CAL emer­gency ser­vices sup­port plans for the pro­posed cy­clone shel­ter at the Port Dou­glas State School af­ter ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to shel­ter their ve­hi­cles in the event of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter.

Ini­tial con­cerns raised by the emer­gency ser­vices in the re­cent com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion phase in­cluded the lack of park­ing avail­able and ac­cess to the fa­cil­ity.

Port Dou­glas am­bu­lance Of­fi­cer-in-Charge Craig Down­ing said af­ter dis­cus­sions with the depart­ment, he is sat­is­fied with the out­come.

“The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion walked with the fire and am­bu­lance ser­vices and they are quite pre­pared to make struc­tural changes to the en­trance way of an­other build­ing which could eas­ily fit two fire trucks, two am­bu­lances and po­lice cars in there,” he said.

“Also, we were al­lo­cated a room in the cur­rent shel­ter de­sign for a con­sul­ta­tion room to be able to talk to peo­ple in pri­vate and as­sist them and treat them.”

For the rest of the com­mu­nity, there will be park­ing for 25 ve­hi­cles pro­vided next to the shel­ter, 55 at ad­ja­cent churches and 200 on-street car parks nearby, ac­cord­ing to Cook MP Ja­son O’Brien.

“Car park­ing ar­eas are avail­able at the school, neigh­bour­ing churches and in the ad­join­ing streets,” he said.

Other com­mu­nity con­cerns raised re­late the size of the shel­ter, but the de­signs will not be mod­i­fied any­time soon and once built, the in­fra­struc­ture can­not be ex­tended.

“The Port Dou­glas cy­clone shel­ter will be a free-stand­ing build­ing with no abil­ity to ex­tend on to this par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity,” Mr O’Brien said.

“If a fur­ther need was es­tab­lished in the Port Dou­glas re­gion for an­other cy­clone shel­ter, an additional shel­ter site would need to be in­ves­ti­gated at that time.”

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