Preparing for disaster in Australia
By Lacey Webb
January is often the month at Mandalay when we begin the discussion of preparing for disaster in Australia, be it in preparation of cyclone season in North Queensland, rains and flooding in Sydney or bushfire season in Victoria and South Australia. However devastatingly this year, disaster has been upon our nation for many weeks already. The catastrophic nature of the fires burning across our country are unprecedented and the impact to our regions and to our clients are not as yet fully known. So this month, Mandalay is focused on supporting the recovery efforts, and how Council and commercially operated facilities can prepare for and manage the challenge of this next step.
So what are the next steps before you open the gates and the clean-up commences?
Plan how you are going to accept the waste.
Are you offering free disposal? Is normal transactional pricing still relevant, are you offering a restricted number of discounted loads and will you accept disaster waste from both commercial and domestic customers? Your community has already been impacted by disaster. Ensuring a smooth process that is consistent with your messaging is important to limit a challenging customer experience. Plan your pricing or acceptance strategy and set up new products in MandalayCS Admin to meet your requirements before the clean-up begins.
Are alternate sites a factor?
Often during disaster clean up the sheer volume of traffic impacts a facilities normal process and so alternate sites will be made available. Ensure that you have the proper approvals in place with your regulator to accept loads at these sites and ensure that you have a method of transaction capture in place, whether it’s weighed, measured volumetrically or simply just references a count of vehicles or loads disposed. If the site is a temporary location, use a custom tally sheet for your staff that is simple to follow and auditable for transaction entry at a later stage. Mandalay can assist to provide standard or customised tally sheets.
Account for Levy.
There are precedents in multiple states for penalties being issued to a resource recovery facility which fails to properly account for Levy Liability relevant to waste from disaster or for incorrectly recording volumes to landfill. Most states have now issued their disaster declarations and formalised their levy exemption requirements. Contact your regulator or Mandalay’s regulatory specialists for assistance to ensure that you are referencing the correct information against your disaster waste transactions, before they are captured.
Review the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) requirements…
… to support relief and recovery costs and ensure that your processes meet criteria in regard to waste management. There can be a limitation on recovery relief funding being available for existing resources rather than additional support that’s needed to service the clean up. There are also opportunities relevant to utilisation of infrastructure for disaster relief. To assess further, go to https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/
And importantly, if you require any assistance in preparing for or recovering from disaster, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team! Mandalay has a team who are experienced in establishing disaster data sets, implementing and managing on the ground relief support, providing real time reporting for decision making and community messaging etc.
Webinar: Disaster Preparation & Management
We are hosting a webinar on January 29, 2020 where Lacey Webb will be discussing the prevention and management of disasters. If you would like further information on disaster prevention and management for your organisation, you can reserve your place at the webinar or find more information, click the button below. We hope you can join us.