Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for Copperlode Falls Dam?

Council has had an EAP since 1998. State legislation requires every local government that owns a dam in Queensland to prepare and implement an EAP (the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008).

The EAP identifies roles and responsibilities, communication procedures, and dam specific emergency scenarios. The EAP means that there is a detailed procedure in place to deal with emergency situations, thereby reducing the impact on communities.

Following the Queensland Flood Commission Enquiry in 2012, which specifically investigated dam-related issues in southeast Queensland, more prescriptive requirements were placed on all registered dam owners throughout Queensland.

Although the Enquiry made recommendations in the context of southeast Queensland dams, the State has asked all dam owners throughout Queensland to implement certain recommendations.

Why do we need an Early Warning System?

The implementation of an Early Warning System is an enhancement to the current Copperlode Falls Dam EAP. This
enhancement was recommended following the 2012 Enquiry, and is something that all dam owners in Queensland are considering.

What is an Early Warning System?

The Early Warning System provides multiple emergency alerts to reach those impacted and encompasses multi-channel communications that are sent out to the persons at risk in the unlikely event of a dam failure. These communications will include SMS, phone calls, emails, radio, social media and notification via the Outdoor Warning Stations.

What is an Outdoor Warning Station?

The Outdoor Warning Stations (sirens) provide simultaneous communication across the valley to residents and others in the area at the time. The stations consist of a series of towers housing audible warning systems mounted at a height of 15-20m above the ground on metal poles.

Where will the Outdoor Warning Stations be located?

There will be up to nine towers located in the Redlynch Valley from Crystal Cascades to Brinsmead, in the areas that provide the best acoustic performance. They will be located on Council property. Every attempt will be made to minimise visual impact.

Please refer to the location map to view approximate locations for each station. ( PDF, 6.07 MB )

What is the likelihood of a dam failure?

The likelihood of a dam failure is extremely low. However, even though the likelihood of dam failure is extremely low, Council, as the owner of a dam, still has obligations under State legislation. These obligations include installing an Early Warning System.

When will these Outdoor Warning Stations be installed?

Installation works began in April 2019 and are proposed to be completed by year end, depending on favourable weather conditions. A community notification process will be undertaken to inform residents, businesses, schools etc. regarding the installation process.

Will the Outdoor Warning Stations emit a radio frequency?

Siren electronics do not generate any radio frequency energy. The radio used for wireless communication does generate a radio frequency energy.

The length of time the transmitter is used is no longer than 2 seconds per status command. Radio transmitters are just 5 watts in either VHF 136-174 MHz or UHF 450-470 MHz. At these frequencies, transmit power and length of transmitting time, the siren
radios are not harmful.

How will I be kept informed of updates, changes to processes, new information?

Any major changes to Emergency Action Plans will be communicated to stakeholders directly. Council’s website will continue to contain all relevant information, including updates.

How can I find out more about flood mapping?

Council publishes flood mapping which can be viewed on the Flood maps and data page of Council's website.

What is live testing and why do we need it?

Following the completed installation of the nine outdoor warning stations, live testing of this system is required to ensure it works and to create awareness within the community on what to expect in the highly unlikely situation of a dam related emergency. While the likelihood of a dam failure is extremely low, Council’s priority is always focused on the safety of our community and our visitors.

To find out more about when and how testing will occur, please visit our Live Testing page.

What do I need to do during live testing?

This is a test exercise only. However, residents and visitors in the area should familiarise themselves with their own emergency evacuation plan.

How do I take care of my pets during live testing?

If you are concerned about your pet during live testing, you can keep them safe by:

  • Securing your home and yard so they can’t escape
  • Bringing them inside so they can get comfort from being near family members
  • Taking them to a friend’s house, local dog off-leash area, or other area away from the noise
  • Leaving them with a friend in another area of the city for the day
  • Doggy day care

What can I expect during live testing?

To find out more about Live Testing, please visit our Live Testing page.

Where can I find out more information?

For more information, please email the project team on ewsproject@cairns.qld.gov.au or call Customer Service on 1300 69 22 47.

EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
my cairns DOWNLOAD IT FREE
EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
my cairns DOWNLOAD IT FREE
Last updated: 09 September 2019