A CATEGORY 5 cyclone shelter, part of a $60 million cyclone shelter program jointly funded by the Queensland Government and the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, was opened at Ingham State High School last week.
The shelter, the second of 10 to be opened across Queensland, was officially opened by Premier Campbell Newman and Sultan Abdullah Alyammahi, Charg d'Affaires at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, in Canberra.
Mr Newman said he was delighted to have so many representatives from the local community present to celebrate the shelter's opening.
"It's the community that will benefit from this facility," he said.
"It's been two years since Cyclone Yasi tore through this part of the state, leaving a trail of devastation.
"Shelters like this one are an important part of making sure North Queensland is better protected next time around.
"This cyclone shelter, and the others in the program, would not have been possible without the $30m donation from the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and I extend my thanks to them for this generous contribution."
Mr Alyammahi said that he was honoured to help open a second cyclone shelter that will provide a sanctuary for at-risk communities in the event of a natural disaster.
"The United Arab Emirates and Australia enjoy an important bilateral relationship, (and) the opening of this cyclone shelter is further testimony to the strength and depth of that relationship and the many areas of mutual cooperation that exist between our two countries," he said.
As well as providing shelter for up to 800 people in a cyc- lone, this building serves as a multipurpose sports facility, featuring netball and basketball courts, a sports lab and teaching facilities.
Member for Hinchinbrook Andrew Cripps said the shelter was great news for the Ingham community.
"Residents in Ingham and surrounding areas can feel safe knowing this new cyclone shelter is ready for use now if needed," he said.
The building has a kitchen, a generator room, 10 toilets, five showers and two water tanks in the roof, which are gravity fed to the toilets and showers during a cyclone.
The Department of Housing and Public Works managed the delivery of the Ingham cyclone shelter with contractor Baulderstone Pty Ltd.
Shelters in Bowen, Port Douglas, Proserpine, Townsville, Tully and Weipa are all complete or due for completion by the end of January.
A cyclone shelter in Mackay, being managed by the Department of Education, Training and Employment as part of the delivery of a new state high school, achieved practical completion in late December 2012.
The Edmonton cyclone shelter is being designed and delivered by the Cairns Regional Council through a grant funding arrangement with the Queensland Government, and is due for completion in March this year.
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