Townsville has a new defense against bushfires with Council acquiring a new remotely piloted aircraft system that can carry water drums to difficult-to-reach areas during weather events like bushfires.  The drone will be used to support hazard reduction burns across Townsville and will be used to fight bushfires in mountainous areas like Castle Hill, Mount Louisa, and Mount Stuart. This project has received grant funding from the Australian Government.  Test flights of the drone will begin on Monday and will run until the end of the week.

Flights will start at Oonoonba Park from Monday, April 15 to Wednesday, April 17, requiring the closure of the park from 8 am to 5 pm daily during this period. Flying will be conducted over the oval, safely away from houses and infrastructure.  The second phase of test flights will start at Castle Hill on Thursday, April 18, and Friday, April 19 from 8 am to 4 pm, requiring the complete closure of Castle Hill Road and walking tracks during this time.  Mayor Troy Thompson said the addition of the drone to Council’s arsenal would benefit the Townsville community during high-risk weather.

 “Council works alongside Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to combat bushfires and deliver hazard reduction burns. This new drone will help make it easier for Council to transport water drums to access tracks in these mountainous areas,” Cr Thompson said.   “As a Council, it is our responsibility to promote world-class liveability through excellent open spaces that promote, protect, and encourage the use of our natural spaces, which is why we have worked with the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to secure funding for this much-needed piece of equipment.”

For more information on Community Safety, visit Council’s website.