Willow St in Killarney was inundated by water late last night.
Willow St in Killarney was inundated by water late last night. Contributed

Killarney flood warning system "did not fail"

A FLOOD warning system set up for Killarney did not fail to activate, according to the Southern Downs Local Disaster Management Group. 

Local Disaster Coordinator Peter See said because the flow-on effect of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie was anticipated well in advance, the group had made the decision to not activate the system.  

"There had been a severe weather alert and the Local Disaster Management Group had met and decided to engage the SES to door-knock those businesses in the flood zone in Killarney," Mr See said.

"Because we had seen the event coming we were able to give businesses about 10 hours minimum warning and because no one's lives were endangered we made the decision not to activate the warning system.  

"This is the second time since it was installed that we have done this. 

"The sirens are a second line of defence and in a fast-moving supercell weather event where there's less time to prepare it's automatically set up to warn people." 

The system, installed in 2015 at the cost of about $80,000, was wholly funded by the State Government following the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry after the 2011 floods.  

Mayor Tracy Dobie, who chairs the LDMG,  has highlighted the Flood Emergency Warning Systems installed at Killarney and Leyburn were part of the council's long term strategy to make communities as safe as possible from flood events.

Cr Dobie said in the first instance personal contact with potentially affected residents is the preferred approach.

"Council understands that there has been some criticism that the siren in Killarney was not activated yesterday; however the sirens are a second line of defence," she said. 

"Council and the Local Disaster Management Group had foreshadowed the flood event and action had already been undertaken yesterday morning to alert those likely to be impacted in Killarney.

"The Bureau of Meteorology had provided some monitoring around the predicted flood. So, the siren was not required as Council was able to plan and implement a proactive approach of door knocking affected residents, and this was undertaken by SES personnel.

"This approach will always be the preferred approach as it allows the local community time to prepare, instead of needing to respond immediately, sometimes at times when they are not prepared and least expect it." 

The warning sirens are located at Killarney Fire Station in Ivy St and at the Leyburn Police Station on the Leyburn Forestry Rd.

They are a fixed siren used to alert the community of an impending flood that may directly affect the community.


The sirens are audible for between 915 metres and 1,280 metres, depending on weather conditions.

Once activated, the siren will play a pre-recorded flood warning message, followed by a wailing tone similar to that of a commercial fire alarm.



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