The Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund (QRRRF) has provided Goondiwindi Regional Council with $120,000 for the installation of a new ablutions block and pump station at the Goondiwindi Showgrounds.
Council will also contribute $50,000 towards the upgrades, which will include six new toilets and showers to better prepare the site for use as an evacuation centre during times of disaster, helping to reduce the social impact on the community.
The installation mitigates disaster risk to the community by increasing the current capacity at the showgrounds, helping to ensure more people can seek shelter in the event of a natural disaster. It will also include disabled access.
Mayor of the Goondiwindi region the Honourable Cr Lawrence Springborg AM said ensuring that the necessary infrastructure was in place at evacuation centres across the region was a priority for Council.
“This Council is committed to the maintenance and provision of long-term, sustainable community assets,” Mr Springborg said. “This is an excellent opportunity to invest in critical infrastructure and better prepare the evacuation facility for operation during a flooding event or similar.”
The new toilet and shower block will replace an existing smaller block of toilets located in front of the Flower Pavilion, directly opposite the McColl Pavilion. The existing unit will be relocated within the Goondiwindi Showgrounds to make way for the new facilities.
The new pump station will also improve the way that on-site waste is collected and transferred to the town sewerage treatment plant.
Mr Springborg said the infrastructure upgrades would offer wider benefits to the community and visitors to the region aside from during disaster events, with the work anticipated to be ready in time for the annual Goondiwindi Show 2021.
“Council has worked with both the Goondiwindi P & A Society and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in the lead-up to this project, with the addition of the new toilet and shower block and pump station identified as a priority for the site,” Mr Springborg said.
“I’m extremely pleased to say that this work will not only better prepare the showgrounds for operation during an evacuation scenario, but it will also improve its day-to-day capability and be a real benefit to the many community groups and organisations that use the facility to hold numerous events and activities throughout the year.”
The project will complement recent upgrades at the flood evacuation assembly point in Inglewood, which were jointly funded by Council and the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
The Inglewood upgrades included the construction of a designated helicopter-landing pad, a new 5,000-gallon poly water tank, mobile generator, mobile toilets, and a mobile catering trailer.
The $13.1 million QRRRF is jointly funded by the Queensland Government ($8.3 million) and the Australian Government ($4.8 million) and is administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
It is the first year of a five-year National Partnership on Disaster Risk Reduction between the Queensland and Australian Governments which aims to reduce existing disaster risk, minimise the creation of future risk and equip decision-makers with the capabilities and information to do so.