Mock oil spill challenges Sunshine Coast disaster responders
  • Tuesday 24 August 2021

Training is an essential part of ensuring the Sunshine Coast’s Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is ready to tackle any emergency.

Today (24 August) the group came together for Exercise OLEUM AQUA, which tested the group’s ability to respond to, and recover from, a major oil spill in the Mooloolaba Wharf Precinct.

Hosted by Sunshine Coast Council at Venue 114 in Bokarina, the exercise involved LDMG members partnering with the District Disaster Management Group and exploring the impacts an oil spill would have on the community, the environment and local economy in a highly populated tourist area.

LDMG Chair and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the annual exercise was a crucial part of the group’s commitment to being ready when disaster strikes.

“Realistic exercises like this give all participants the opportunity to discuss and further refine their disaster management procedures, plans and partnerships,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our emergency responders are first-class and it’s important they are able to maintain those skills which help protect our community during the worst of times, as well as being ready to respond to any disaster event.

“During the exercise they manage the incident just like they would in a real disaster, ensuring everyone knows exactly what their role is and what is required of them.”

Exercise OLEUM AQUA was based on a hypothetical oil spill at the Mooloolaba Boat Harbour and involved more than 100 participants.

It was carried out in full compliance with current COVID-19 directions.

The Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Group membership includes Mayor Mark Jamieson as the chairperson, representatives from the Sunshine Coast Council, all local emergency services, key non-government departments, local education institutes, energy and water service providers and tourism organisations.

Mayor Jamieson said the exercise was a great reminder for residents and businesses to always ensure they are disaster ready.

“Please remember disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and it’s not a matter of if, but when,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We’re a resilient community, which cares for one another, and the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your neighbours and your business is to ensure you are prepared.”

There are three simple steps to ensure your household or business is prepared for extreme events.
• Step one: Have an emergency plan in place.
• Step two: Pack supplies – pack your emergency and evacuation kits.
• Step three: Make sure your insurance has adequate coverage and is up to date.

Visit council’s Disaster Hub website to find the latest updates, practical resources and what to do before, during and after an emergency.

Image: Queensland Police Service Superintendent Craig Hawkins, Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent Andrew Bailey at Exercise OLEUM AQUA.