Gold Coast MP Alex Douglas says we need a Weather alert system

GOLD Coast MP Alex Douglas is again pushing for the Gold Coast City Council to sign up to the Early Warning Network that would see residents in the city’s storm belt ­receive SMS alerts before wild weather hit.

The Gaven MP said news that a hail belt had been identified from Tamborine to Oxenford was proof a better warning system was needed, which could save millions of dollars of damage from being done each year to homes, cars and boats.

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Brisbane City Council and other local government authorities pay to be part of the Earying Warning Network, which allows residents to register for storm threats to their specific address and gives them email and SMS alerts, as well as recorded messages to their landline number.

Mr Douglas said Gold Coast residents should have access to the same system.

“We have people losing cars and other property out there in places like Pacific Pines,” he said.

“If they were aware that the storm was coming earlier, they could get themselves and their possessions out of harm’s way.”

Local radio station 102.9 Hot Tomato has created its own community weather alert system whereby Gold Coast households subscribed to this free service are sent SMS messages warning them of severe weather events when they occur.

Coomera MP Michael Crandon said he believed there was value in investigating the Early Warning Network system.

But Acting Mayor Donna Gates said the council had investigated subscribing to the Early Warning Network in the past and had decided it was an unnecessary step.

“There is a lot of information already available to ratepayers,” she said. “The BOM alerts are put up by various community Facebook pages.

“I wonder if ratepayers would want us to use their money to pay for this service as well.”

The cost of Gold Coast City Council joining the Early Warning Network would be $200,000 a year.

Cr Gates said she would back another investigation if other councillors were keen to implement the system.”

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