Question and Answer
- Regarding the risk of toys being contaminated that did not touch the water and were kept in boxes, was there any testing done on these toys to confirm if they were contaminated?
No, there was no testing done on any of the toys in the library at the time of the flood. All toys were disposed of on the advice received from Townsville City Council Building Manager, Townsville City Council Hygiene Assessor and our Insurer. Investigations were made into swabbing and testing the toys and was part of the committee’s meeting discussion where we ultimately decided to destroy all toys. The financial cost of carrying out testing would have been too great on the association. The committee want to ensure we had the financial ability to operate. We were also under extreme time pressure from the Townsville City Council to remove our property from the premises. This pressure also played a part in our decision not to test toys.
- Did the Committee consider any options for members to collect toys that we decided to destroy?
No, this did not factor into any considerations. The Townsville City Council strongly told us that we were to have minimal amount of personnel at the site on removal day. Those people were to wear protective clothing at all times and spend as little time on site as possible. Under these circumstance, we could not have members attend to take toys. There is also the issue of liability around the toys that could have been taken. Is this something we could have legally done? This will be raised as a part of our reflection period that the Committee will undertake.
- Why wasn’t a percentage of toys tested? How are we going to better manage hygiene of the toys in the future?
A percentage of the toys were not tested due to the financial cost to the association and advice we have received. We have plans to better manage the hygiene of the toys in our library. The Committee is going to purchase a steamer to help with the cleaning of the toys. The Committee are also going to improve our standard of cleaning toys upon returning toys to the library. This will also form a part of the Committees reflect period.
- When were members advised regarding the decision to destroy the toys?
Members were advised of the decision to destroy the toys by email on the 11th of February 2019. At that stage the Committee only wanted to inform members of the association of the status of the library and the toys. The Committee did not want to make the decision public, by posting on FaceBook, because of the strict access to the site. This is also the reason why we did not inform of the exact time and date when the toys were going to be disposed of. The Committee encourages all members who have not been receiving our emails please contact us through FaceBook messenger or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can be added to the mail out list.
- Was a call put out to members to remove toys before the flood event?
No, no call out was put to members to take extra toys home with them before the flood event. The Committee did undertake some sand bagging around the premises on the Friday morning leading up to the event on Sunday. In hindsight this is something the Committee could have handled better. The Committee along with the many other Townsville residents greatly underestimated the devastating impact the weather event would have. Reaching out to our members for more assistance in the lead up to a natural disaster will be considered as a part of our reflection period.