Preparing for future disasters

Community stories: 31 May 2023

The Mooloolah Community Centre is the home and work hub of Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc, located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The Centre is run by a Management Committee of 10 volunteers from wide and varied backgrounds including finance, defence, nursing, social work, local government and administration, and there are a team of volunteers who support the Centre by doing tasks from garden maintenance to assisting in the Op Shop. Everyone at the Centre works for the benefit of the Mooloolah community, and the positive flow-on effects are felt throughout the Mooloolah Valley postcode area.

In February 2022, the flooding closed all roads into the town, cutting it off for four days and causing a loss of power across the area. The lack of a reliable power source during this disaster revealed critical vulnerabilities in the community for being able to charge phones and stay in touch with loved ones. Additionally there was no hot water and the Community Centre couldn’t open.

After receiving $25,000 in Round 2 of the Rebuilding Futures program, funded by the Suncorp Group, the Community Centre has now securely installed a solar battery pack ready for any future disasters or power outages. The installation of the solar batteries has completed a significant preparedness project by this group, who over the last year, have added emergency lighting, directional emergency lighting and evacuation alarms so the community can be prepared and therefore more resilient in times of extreme weather events.

The Community Centre says it is ready to support the needs of the community in times of distress, including having the Op Shop open to allow people to obtain emergency clothes if required, and enabling the Welfare Officer to operate and offer vouchers for food and fuel. The website has been updated with a new ‘Community Resilience Service’ that promotes an offering of a place of refuge during disaster, including the basics like a hot drink, charging phones, using the internet and much more.

Jason Carroll standing next to three batteries installed at Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc

Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc’s Events & Grants Officer, Jason Carroll