Fire review and inquiry announced
AS THE rains extinguish the final embers of the region’s fires, politicians are starting to dig through the ash to explain what happened.
Yesterday a federal parliamentary inquiry was announced to investigate if State Government vegetation laws and land management policies exacerbated the fires that ravaged Queensland this week.
This announcement pushes away calls by farmers for a judicial inquiry into the state’s fire hazard management.
The Federal Government’s investigation comes a day after a review was announced by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford.
Mr Crawford announced a state-wide review by inspector-general emergency management Michael Shapland would be conducted.
Mr Crawford said Mr Shapland’s review would be an “examination of key preparedness and response elements of the bushfires and hot weather events across Queensland”.
He confirmed that fires around Mackay, including Finch Hatton, Eungella, Carmila, Broken River and Bloomsbury, would be assessed by Mr Shapland’s review.
Rural Fire Service acting regional manager (Central) Andrew Houley expects the federal and state reviews to have significant implications for future firefighting efforts.
“Can we do better? Yes. You can’t burn 280,000ha uncontrollably and say that was a good thing to do,” he said.
However he would not be drawn on whether a single policy or agency was responsible for the region’s significant fires.
When asked what areas would be under review, Mr Crawford said he was “not in a position to pre-empt the review’s outcomes” .