Department of Housing and Public Works | Cyclone shelters

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 Cyclone shelters

The Department of Housing and Public Works is facilitating the delivery of the new multi-purpose cyclone shelters that will provide critical emergency shelter to communities in Central and North Queensland.

These shelters will help make Queensland safer and more resilient in the event of a cyclone.

The new cyclone shelters are being funded by a gift of $30 million from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and a further $30 million contribution by the Queensland Government.

The completion of 10 new shelters delivered through the Public Cyclone Shelter Program brings the total number of shelters to 14. The shelters are not only used in emergencies, they will also operate as multi-purpose sports facilities and are available for year-round use by the community.

Shelter locations and forecast completion dates

Existing shelters are located at:

  • Redlynch State College, Jungara Road, Redlynch (Cairns)
  • Innisfail State College, 45 Flying Fish Point Road, Innisfail
  • Cooktown Community Events Centre, Corner May and Charles Streets, Cooktown
  • Kowanyama Multipurpose Sport and Recreation Centre.

New cyclone shelters constructed in 2012-13 are: 

No.​ ​Location ​Address ​Forecast completion date
1 Heatley Secondary College​ Fulham Road, Townsville​ Complete​
2​ Port Douglas State School 4 Endeavour Street, Port Douglas Complete​
3​ ​Proserpine State School ​Sterry Street, Proserpine Complete​
4​ Tully State School Bryant Street, Tully​ Complete​
5​ Ingham State School Marina Parade, Ingham Complete
6​ ​Mackay, new State High School Rosewood Drive, Mackay Complete
7​ Bowen State School​ Richmond Road, Bowen​ Complete​
8​ ​Weipa Hibberd Drive, Rocky Point​ ​Complete
9 Edmonton Leisure Centre​ ​Walker Road, Cairns ​Complete
10​ ​Yeppon State High School ​Tabone Street, Yeppon ​Complete

Map of cyclone shelter locations (PDF, 677KB)

How the sites were chosen

Locations were chosen through a consultation and evaluation process led by an expert technical assessment team and included visits to selected sites.

The assessment of suitable cyclone shelter locations considered the requirements of the Design Guidelines for Queensland Public Cyclone Shelters, as well as the Guideline for Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of Cyclones— Evacuation and Shelter (PDF, 4.2MB).

The Department of Housing and Public Works worked closely with the James Cook University's Cyclone Testing Station to test specifically designed building elements used in the construction of the public cyclone shelters.

View the selection criteria (PDF, 587KB) that was used.

Of the large number of submissions received, 47 potential sites were identified, and of these, 10 suitable sites were chosen.


The shelters are:

  • capable of providing protection from winds up to 306km/h experienced in a Category 5 cyclone
  • located outside storm tide inundation areas and not vulnerable to landslip and creek or river flooding
  • the floor level of the shelter building is above the storm tide level or a 1-in-500-year defined flood event level
  • located sufficiently away from significant hazards such as hazardous materials, large trees, power or communications towers and potential sources of large windborne debris
  • located in communities where large numbers of people are at risk of storm tide inundation, or
  • located in a centre away from the coastline to which a coastal community at risk of storm tide inundation can safely evacuate prior to the impact of the cyclone.

View the list of building materials shown to be capable of resisting cyclone conditions. 

Please note: the ‘Design Guidelines for Queensland Public Cyclone Shelters’ has been temporarily removed for revision and amendment purposes. The guidelines will be replaced as soon as possible, however, should you have any enquiries please contact the departmental Disaster Preparedness Group on (07) 3224 4107.

More information

Please contact your local council for more information about your nearest cyclone shelter.

For more information about the 10 new cyclone shelters, contact John Bellas, Department of Housing and Public Works, on (07) 3225 8737 or or read updates on the project in our latest news.

Last updated 02 May 2013    

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