Floods cost Australia an estimated $400 million a year
Mackay Regional Council today endorsed a rebate system to encourage residents to be better prepared and reduce demand on council and SES resources.
Mayor Col Meng said the rebate was a simple, effective way to ensure residents were cyclone or flood ready.
“This is a proactive approach that reduces the risk of residents needing to line up to get sandbags during inclement weather,” he said.
Council will offer $5 per bag on the initial purchase of these sandless environmentally friendly “inflatable” bags – a maximum rebate of $25 (five sandbags) is applicable.
Once residents have purchased the bags, proof of receipt is required together with evidence of residency within the Mackay Regional Council area, either by sending the completed form to council or by visiting a council customer service center.
It is anticipated that these forms will be available from November 1 on council’s website.
A refund check will then be sent to eligible applications. Only one rebate to a maximum of $25 will be available to each residence
Cr Meng said the new light-weight “inflatable” flood defense bag will be available at most hardware stores shortly.
“They are much more effective than traditional sandbags,” he said.
The new products expand into a usable sandbag by adding water and are about 10 kilograms lighter than a traditional sandbag. They can be easily stored and made ready for us in minutes.
Cr Meng said council and SES resources were often tied up filling and distributing sandbags to the community at the most critical time of a flood or cyclone event.
“If the community had a handy supply at home, these critical resources could be deployed to better deal with flooding issues across the region,” he said.