10 May 2023

WTA chairman urges Cape to prepare for wet season

| Matt Nicholls
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Weipa Town Authority’s Jo Moloney, Michael Rowland and Judey Hausler with James Barber from the SES.

EVERYONE should have a plan in place if a disaster strikes, says Weipa Town Authority chairman Michael Rowland.

“When you live in Cape York you need to be prepared, especially in the summer months when we can be hit by big storms and even cyclones,” he said.

“In Weipa, we’ve been very lucky over the years to have avoided a major cyclone, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.

“Complacency is the biggest risk and this time of year is the best time to start reviewing your plans and what you might do if a major weather event happens.”

Those new to the Cape and those keen to refresh their memories are being encouraged to turn up at Weipa’s new SES facility this Saturday for the Western Cape Get Ready Disaster Expo.

“It’ll be a great chance to see the new building and some of the capabilities of the SES unit we have in Weipa,” Mr Rowland said.

“I know Jo Moloney (WTA disaster management officer) has spent a lot of time organising exhibits and information for those who turn up.”

Ms Moloney said locals would be able to find every bit of information they need to know about preparing for a major disaster in Cape York.

“The SES will be there and we’ll also have demonstrations from the Western Cape Rural Fire Service and Rio Tinto’s Emergency Services team,” she said.

“We’ll have something for the kids, too.”

Townsville-based company Solar Relief is also making the trip to Weipa to showcase its portable solar power supply units.

The technology was developed after Cyclone Yasi ripped through North Queensland.

The Expo will run from 9am on Saturday until lunchtime, with the SES putting on a barbecue.

The Weipa ice cream van will also make an appearance.

“We’re in a La Niña year and we’ve seen down south how the weather can be unpredictable,” Mr Rowland said.

“Being ready for storms and cyclones is really important and we encourage everyone to pop in to help their preparations.”

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