SES Flood Forum Macksville – the action plan report is out

NSW SES Community Capability Officer for Northern Zone Steve Lawrence opened the May community forum.


COMMUNICATION throughout the community is one of the main concerns bubbling up to the top of the SES Flood Forum Report just released.

Twenty-six people, most of whom were directly affected by the March floods, attended May’s SES Flood Forum in Macksville, to share their personal experiences, concerns and feedback.

NSW SES Community Capability Officer for Northern Zone Steve Lawrence, who opened the forum, told News Of The Area, “The main themes of the forum included the lack of information, before and during the event; about evacuations and the severity of the flooding, difficulties in people getting through on the SES 132500 emergency assistance phone line, access to sandbags and the community’s limited knowledge of key flood heights and where to find information during such emergencies.

“From here the SES will look to work with the community and other stakeholders to prioritise and action the suggestions for improvement contained in the report,” said Steve.

Critical to the efficiency of the emergency services is the limited size of the force.

The Action Plan NSW SES has committed to undertake the following.

First up, the SES will make its report accessible to the local community through emailing it to all those who attended.

The SES will convene a local meeting to assess interest, establish terms of reference and engage local community representatives to create a local action plan from the information collected and articulated in this report.

Post-event flood forums will continue across the region like this one – to listen to community concerns, address issues in liaison with relevant other parties and help build community resilience.

The report will be made available to other agencies so that they can consider ways of improving their own preparedness, communication, response and transition to recovery.

The SES will continue to work with Council, Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and other stakeholders to improve information (and access to it), warning systems (including communication of information, warnings and orders), and evacuation arrangements.

With 26 interested members of the public attending the Flood Forum in May, it was noted Department of Primary Industry representation was absent.

NSW SES now plans to set up alternatives to the 132 500 number for major events.




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