Councils across north-west Queensland will soon use smart technology to communicate regional disaster risk after securing more than $50,000 through the 2020-21 Get Ready Queensland program.

Funding will be administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and strengthens the Palaszczuk Government’s efforts to make Queensland the most disaster-resilient state in Australia.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister responsible for the QRA Cameron Dick said seven north-west councils are pooling their funding to purchase push notification beacons that will link to a new Get Ready North West Queensland app.

“The Bluetooth beacons will be located in various key locations in the Richmond, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Flinders, Mount Isa, Burke and Carpentaria council areas,” Mr Dick said.

“When people pass key locations they’ll receive a message to their mobile device with information about local disaster risks and the steps they need to take to Get Ready and protect themselves.

“With more Queenslanders expected to travel locally this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s important that visitors new to the north-west understand the environment they’re in and how they can stay safe during storms or floods.

“Even as Queensland battles a global health emergency our government remains committed to best preparing our communities for the natural disasters we regularly face.”

Carpentaria Shire Mayor and Chair of the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils Jack Bawden said common mistakes people make when travelling in remote parts of Queensland included not having sufficient food and water supplies, spare petrol or a first aid kit.

“These mistakes not only put travellers at risk, they also put emergency services at risk when they come to provide assistance,” Cr Bawden said.

“This initiative builds on a series of educational videos delivered by our region in 2019 using our Get Ready Queensland grants to educate locals and visitors about how to stay safe when travelling around the north-west.

Get Ready Queensland provides $2 million in grants each year to the state’s 77 councils and one town authority to implement disaster preparedness initiatives in their local communities.

For more information on Get Ready Queensland visit getready.qld.gov.au.