LNP blazes ahead with Queensland bushfire plan

Queensland bushfire action plans revealed

News
Aa

The opposition has released its bushfire mitigation strategy for Queensland.

Aa
Green Shirts Movement's Martin Bella fighting fires near Sarina.

Green Shirts Movement's Martin Bella fighting fires near Sarina.

THE LNP has released its bushfire mitigation strategy for Queensland as the fire emergency continues to grip southern states.

The 10 point plan includes measures to both mitigate and respond to bushfires in the state, including opening some state forests and national parks to grazing to reduce the fuel load.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP would make sweeping improvements to Queensland's bushfire strategy to make the state more prepared and more able to respond in emergencies.

"The LNP will take decisive action to get Queensland bushfire-ready in the wake of the incredible tragedies we have seen in New South Wales and Victoria," Ms Frecklington said.

"In a bushfire-prone state like ours, the government must stop at nothing to ensure communities are kept safe."

The plan is the culmination of recommendations by the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM), listening to the concerns of stakeholders, and implementing the advice of Queensland's expert rural firefighters.

The key points include:

  • Establishing a single point of contact for landholders and councils to submit all bushfire mitigation inquiries and permits.
  • Automatically approve properly made burn permits for landholders and councils after 15 business days.
  • New KPIs to achieve 98 per cent of hazard reduction activities.
  • Trial a traditional burning program run by Indigenous rangers.
  • Establish a cabinet committee to monitor state departments and landholders' hazard reduction activities.
  • Allow monitored grazing in state forests and some national parks to manage fuel loads.
  • Establish urban-based Rural Fire volunteer brigades to allow volunteers in the south east to contribute during extreme bushfire events.
  • Restore local control to Rural Fire brigades.
  • Establish a Rural Fire board.
  • Review aerial firefighting capability.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington discusses their bushfire action plan.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington discusses their bushfire action plan.

Ms Frecklington said stronger policies were needed to protect Queenslanders.

"Queensland has faced its own bushfire catastrophes in recent years, but the Palaszczuk Labor government has failed to learn lessons and strengthen policies."

The LNP plan comes after Katter's Austalian Party also renewed their calls to open up national parks and state forests to grazing, to both mitigate bushfire risk and aid farmers doing it tough in the drought.

KAP state leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the current management strategies of state forests and national parks raised red flags with rangers and employees raising concerns about under-resourcing and growing fuel loads.

"Without question in the last few years that I have been in parliament, I have observed a clear trend of the Labor state government acquiring more and more state land from private occupiers and in turn expanding the footprint of national parks," he said.

"In doing this they have kicked off private land managers like farmers and graziers who have previously done a good job...in managing and reducing fuel-loads in these areas."

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland general manager Justin Choveaux said he would be interested to learn more details of the LNP plan.

He said while the establishment of Rural Fire service boards was good in theory, they needed to be established in consultation with brigades and volunteers.

"I will discuss this with brigade elected representatives and will also be asking the LNP for more details in relation to the outline," Mr Choveaux said.

Green Shirts Movement founder and Mackay Regional Councillor Martin Bella said any bushfire policy needed to give the control back to the people on the ground.

"Every fire is different, the terrain is different," Cr Bella said.

"Control needs to be given to those on the ground, you can't farm from behind a desk in Brisbane and you can't fight a bushfire from behind a desk in Brisbane."

Cr Bella said he was yet to see the LNP plan, but he would be interested to see in-depth fire management plans from all political parties.

"We need to see in-depth policy, until it is policy and there is a commitment it is merely a thought bubble.

"Green Shirts want to see and compare and then make analysis."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by