‘His­tory will judge us mak­ing the right de­ci­sions’

The Morning Bulletin - - LAND CLEARING DEBATE -

IT’S nor­mal after a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter to re­view how it was man­aged and see what could be done bet­ter.

We did it after Cy­clone Deb­bie and we are al­ready in the process of do­ing it after these fires.

Let me ad­dress the the­ory that veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws made the sit­u­a­tion worse.

Re­mem­ber when peo­ple told you you couldn’t push mulga to feed your stock in a drought? That was sim­ply not true.

It mis­in­formed peo­ple at the very time they needed to feed their stock.

Now the same peo­ple are telling you the laws stop fire breaks.

That’s non­sense. It’s grubby, use­less pol­i­tics. Worse: it puts lives at risk,

Fire breaks are ex­empt. No per­mit re­quired.

Here’s a link that spells it out.

https://www.qld.gov.au/en­vi­ron­ment/land/man­age­ment/veg­e­ta­tion/ex­emp­tions

Now politi­cians lit­er­ally want to make a fed­eral case out of our fires.

Usu­ally an in­quiry is when things go wrong.

Tell me what we did wrong. Were the thou­sands of homes and lives saved in Grace­mere some­how a fail­ure?

There were no lives lost in Deep­wa­ter, or the Rocky Caves, Mt Lar­com, Baf­fle Creek, Finch Hat­ton or Eun­gella.

Twenty-six Queens­land cities and towns set new records for high tem­per­a­tures in that week - 17 above 40C.

Added to that were high winds and storms.

That caused the fires: un­prece­dented weather con­di­tions.

Some of that data goes back 129 years and noth­ing in that pe­riod com­pared with our 12 days of hell.

Where were the crit­ics when we were fight­ing these fires?

Where were they when we were co-or­di­nat­ing wa­ter drops?

Where were they in the hours we had to de­cide whether it was right to evac­u­ate Grace­mere and whether we needed to evac­u­ate more?

His­tory will judge us as mak­ing the right de­ci­sions.

To all of those who’ve lost prop­erty – I trust you are get­ting the help that’s avail­able and if you are out of your home it won’t be long un­til you re­build.

We have also set up the Queens­land Bush­fire Ap­peal to help.

But on Christ­mas Day I’ll be think­ing of a Rolle­ston fam­ily who’ll look across their din­ner ta­ble at an empty place where their 21-year-old son should be. I’m so sad for their loss. It’s peo­ple who mat­ter. They’re all that mat­ter.

Thank you once again to the thou­sands who pulled to­gether to pro­tect us from this lat­est dis­as­ter.

Sum­mer’s just be­gin­ning. I know we’ll call on you again.

We live a long way from each other in Queens­land but it’s times like this that we show that we’re in these things to­gether.

‘‘

WHERE WERE THE CRIT­ICS WHEN WE WERE FIGHT­ING THESE FIRES? AN­NASTA­CIA PALASZCZUK

Photo: Ash­ley Pill­hofer

FAUNA LOST: Count­less na­tive an­i­mals lost their lives and their homes in the most dev­as­tat­ing bush­fires in Queens­land’s his­tory.

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk says peo­ple are mis­in­formed.

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