CHILL OUT: Mayor Peter Maguire. file
CHILL OUT: Mayor Peter Maguire. file

Mayor calls for more trust

TAKE a chill pill, fire up the barbie and have a beer, the Mayor has told his community.

Cr Peter Maguire was attempting to allay public fears of a repeat of the 2008 Emerald flood, as rumours of an impending deluge continued to plague the town.

Panic buying seen in Emerald last Friday was repeated yesterday, forcing the Mayor to issue the “chill pill” edict.

Cr Maguire said it was important residents retained faith in the best expert advice given to the Central Highlands Council and its local disaster management group.

“Last weekend there were rumours everywhere."

“Yesterday they’ve started again,” he said.

“And there’s apparently an indication of panic buying (on Tuesday).” He said calls from shopping centre management had confirmed this.

“People have got to understand that the council, and myself as Mayor and chairman of the local disaster management group, are the point of truth.

“I want to be as clear as I can, if there are going to be any errors in information or advice, I will take the blame.”

Cr Maguire said it was localised flooding across Emerald on Friday when close to 200mm of rain fell, and the Fairbairn Dam spillway failed to reach the maximum predicted peak of 2.5m this week.

Regular briefings, if not hourly as the situation demanded, were being taken by council and the disaster group, he said.

“We are in a situation now where we have to continue to monitor the weather situation.

“The dam is running over, the whole place is full of water, but people need to not listen to the rumours.

“We have been trying to get information out to the media, the ABC is the emergency disaster radio station, and we have briefings posted on our website, people manning the phones to answer any question.

“What people need to understand is we take the best information we get from the Bureau of Meteorology hydrologists, the SunWater hydrologists, the BOM chief weather forecaster and local people – that’s what we work off.

“We said on Friday the dam would go to about 2.5m, and it didn’t even hit 2m; so these people were right.

“Also, the Vince Lester Bridge is in no danger of going over.”

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