Les­sons to be learned from re­cent bush­fires

Dalby Herald - - NEWS OPINION -

THE re­cent cat­a­strophic bush­fire con­di­tions in cen­tral and south­ern parts of the state brought out the best and worst of what Queens­land has to of­fer.

We wit­nessed brave men and women fight fires on the front­line, co-or­di­nate a re­sponse and lead re­cov­ery ef­forts.

As some­one who grew up in re­gional Queens­land, I know how im­por­tant small com­mu­ni­ties are dur­ing a time of cri­sis.

Thank you to those peo­ple who sac­ri­ficed so much to en­sure lives, prop­er­ties, veg­e­ta­tion and live­stock were saved.

I be­lieve these out­stand­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity de­serve more recog­ni­tion and that’s why I’ve writ­ten to the Na­tional Emer­gency Com­mit­tee for them to con­sider open­ing a ci­ta­tion ap­pli­ca­tion process.

Dur­ing early De­cem­ber, LNP Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett and I had the priv­i­lege of meet­ing and thank­ing vol­un­teers in ar­eas in­clud­ing Bund­aberg, Agnes Wa­ter and Baf­fle Creek.

It was an op­por­tu­nity for us to hear the sto­ries of brav­ery, mate­ship and team­work.

In the past, a Na­tional Emer­gency Medal has been awarded to peo­ple who worked or vol­un­teered dur­ing the Queens­land floods of 2010, Cy­clone Yasi and the 2009 Vic­to­rian bush­fires.

The men and women who worked tire­lessly to pro­tect their com­mu­ni­ties de­serve this hon­our.

I also be­lieve we need to learn from this bush­fire emer­gency and the best way for that is to hold a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry by in­ves­ti­gat­ing is­sues in­clud­ing the manag­ing of na­tional parks, com­mu­ni­ca­tion to af­fected com­mu­ni­ties and is­su­ing of back­burn­ing per­mits to al­low land­hold­ers to man­age fuel loads.

It can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween sav­ing lives and sav­ing com­mu­ni­ties. — Deb Freck­ling­ton, LNP Leader

❝As some­one who grew up in re­gional Queens­land, I know how im­por­tant small com­mu­ni­ties are dur­ing a time of cri­sis.

PHOTO: MATT HAR­RIS

RISKS: Fire in Am­brose near Gen­tle An­nie Rd about 500m past Hut Creek.

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