RUSSELL ISLAND ROCKY POINT EVACUATION BOAT RAMP.
On the 18th if August I received an Email from a member of the Facebook group ‘Rocky Point Boating Fishing and Camping Club Russell Island’, Margaret Kemp. This was in regards ti the need for a ciat ramp for evacuation purposes.
The size and complexity if the request, petition, documentation and correspondence was such that I could not take the time, being just prior to printing my DOTS paper this week. O’ll ask Margaret to provide a press release for printing here or in the summer edition of DOTS.
In the meantime, here is firstly the correspondence, then following the documentation,
The Hon. Craig Crawford,
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services,
P.O. Box 15457 City East,
BRISBANE, QLD. 4002.
Dear Mr. Crawford,
File No. QFS/15524
Ref No: 01927-2019
ALTERNATIVE SAFETY EVACUATION BOAT RAMP SOUTHERN RUSSELL ISLAND AT ROCKY POINT.
I refer to your email of 2 July, 2019.
I have attached letters and a sign relating to the Emergency Details for Russell Island.
Would you mind explaining why is/was the need for a Rocky Point boat ramp and jetty written in the Redland City Council Disaster Management Plan and then removed when I alerted the Redland City Council after more than 1,000 petitioners requested a safety boat ramp at the RCC Western Assembly Area Rocky Point after the recent Russell Island fires?
The Disaster Management legislation clearly states that residents should have the ability to self evacuate. This is not possible to self evacuate if Russell Island is divided by fire, flood or any other unforeseen circumstance, if the one Centre Road is cut.
The main objects of this Act are: (i) to help communities mitigate the potential adverse effects of an event, prepare for managing the effects of an event, and effectively respond to, and recover from, a disaster or an emergency situation; (ii) to provide for effective disaster management for the State; (iii) to establish a framework for the management of the State Emergency Service and emergency service units to ensure the effective performance of their functions.
Why is Rocky Point listed as an Evacuation Assembly Area if there is no way of watercraft accessing Rocky Point?
Nobody can be rescued at the disaster assembly area of Rocky Point without a boat ramp, there is 1 metre erosion. It is estimated that about 1,000 people live in this southern area of Russell Island.
What is the size of the small barge (high tide) listed on the Disaster Sign at Sandy Beach which is in a flood zone area?
If there were a boat ramp at Rocky Point the Police barge (a small barge) could actually access Rocky Point. Residents may not be able to reach Sandy Beach if cut by fire, fire projectiles from a North Stradbroke Island wild fire; Sandy Beach may be unbreathable if wild fire escapes across the narrow Canaipa Passage.
What vehicle is going to access Rocky Point Emergency Evacuation Assembly Area if the South of Russell Island is cut by fire or any other unforeseen disaster from the Northern ferry terminal?
Why does the Redland City Council Disaster Plan now have vehicle only written under the Rocky Point Evacuation Assembly Area? The disaster sign clearly shows that there is no way of evacuating Russell Island residents from the Western side of Russell Island which is a real danger and shows that the Redland City Council Disaster Plan is flawed. There is absolutely no reason to have Rocky Point as an Assembly Area if there are no means of water exit and if water craft cannot access.
A Rocky Point boat ramp should be of high importance to the State Government to provide the only evacuation access on the Western side of Russell Island. The purpose of a boat ramp is to make it easier to launch and retrieve watercraft; therefore if Department of Transport and Main Roads state that Rocky Point is unsuitable for a boat ramp then clearly the area is even more unsuitable for rescue watercraft to use without a boat ramp.
By not building a Rocky Point boat ramp, the authorities may be actually trapping residents in a disaster event. How can there be no alternative water evacuation point on the Western side of Russell Island when Rocky Point is a RCC designated Disaster Assembly Area?
With a major wild fire cutting Russell Island in half and a wild fire on North Stradbroke island side of Canaipa Passage, there is no way emergency services or ferry operator would use Canaipa Passage to rescue people but there is no way of reaching people on the Western side of Russell Island. The Western side of Russell Island is furtherest from the threat of wild fires on North Stradbroke Island, yet there is no way of evacuating at Rocky Point. The worst thing is nobody on the Southern end of Russell Island can self evacuate.
Wild fire produces very dangerous thick smoke, Canaipa Passage may be unusable if a wild fire were on the Canaipa Passage side of North Stradbroke Island.
The State Government says that Rocky Point is unable to be accessed by water so therefore it’s even more reason for the Government to install a Rocky Point safety boat ramp so that rescue boats, emergency services and a small barge if required, e.g., police barges, can access the island in any disaster.
Where are the fire trails that were recommended after the RCC Fire Management Plan Review Report 2017?
What is happening on Glendale Road regarding a fire trail and how does that help with water evacuation from Rocky Point?
What is the definition of a fire trail and how wide should a fire trail be?
How can Rocky Point be vehicle only when Glendale Road shows to be flooded on the Hazards Map and the Centre Road and Sandy Beach flood? No vehicle can access.
The Redland City Council has not notified the community about amendment to the RCC Disaster Plan in writing.
If the Department of Transport and Main roads state that Rocky Point is unsuitable for a boat ramp then it is absolutely mind blowing why Rocky Point is listed as an Evacuation Assembly Area when clearly DTMR state it to be unsuitable and therefore rescue vessels are unable to access.
The Queensland State Member for Redlands signed a petition highlighting the need for a Rocky Point boat ramp and for the State Government to investigate options for a boat ramp at Rocky Point. The feasibility study provided from the Department of Transport and Main Roads was flawed, we did not ask for a feasibility study for a 37 metre barge, we requested a boat ramp for rescue vessels and trailer boats. Rocky Point is shallow for a 37 metre barge with a 1.5 metre depth, however there are many other water craft that could be of use in an evacuation and a boat ramp would certainly make it much easier for water craft in an evacuation day or night.
The Redland City Council along with the local Federal Member of Parliament have both expressed their interest in a valuation from the Queensland State Government, a reply has not yet been received.
There has never been a mock evacuation performed at Rocky Point. Would you mind organising a mock evacuation at Rocky Point, possibly at night time, in the event the island is cut in a disaster from the northern ferry terminal and Evacuation Hall about 9 klm distance, and where are the fire trails to escape?
Thank you for an early reply,
Rocky Point Evacuation Boat Ramp,
The PetitionROCKY POINT EVACUATION BOAT RAMP20190812_16500241
The responseROCKY POINT QFES Reply 2 July 1920190818_19415838
If there is anything else forthcoming I’ll post it here.