Call for in­quiry into fires

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Trades & Services -

THE LNP is call­ing for a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into the dev­as­tat­ing Queens­land bush­fires at the end of 2018.

LNP Shadow Min­is­ter for Fire and Emergency Ser­vices Lach­lan Mil­lar said de­spite Queenslanders be­ing granted more time to pro­vide feed­back, the re­view by the In­spec­tor-Gen­eral Emergency Man­age­ment still fell short of the full par­lia­men­tary in­quiry re­quired.

“More than 100 bush­fires rav­aged our ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties at the end of last year and Queenslanders were shocked at the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact,” Mr Mil­lar said.

“Se­ri­ous ques­tions were raised about the state’s han­dling of bush­fire pre­pared­ness, par­tic­u­larly in state-con­trolled land in­clud­ing na­tional parks.

“The LNP be­lieves a full par­lia­men­tary in­quiry is the ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum to learn lessons about how we can pre­vent the dev­as­tat­ing bush­fires from hap­pen­ing again.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we have a sit­u­a­tion where the depart­ment will ef­fec­tively be re­view­ing it­self and will un­likely de­liver the level of scru­tiny and find­ings needed to hold this La­bor Govern­ment to ac­count.

“This in­ter­nal re­view fails to con­sider the is­sues at the heart of the bush­fire dis­as­ters – the mis­man­age­ment of fuel loads and fire breaks on state-con­trolled land.

“We know there have been nearly 1000 less haz­ard re­duc­tion burns con­ducted and at­tended by the Queens­land Fire and Emergency Ser­vice in 2018 com­pared to 2015.

“A par­lia­men­tary in­quiry would in­ves­ti­gate whether the state La­bor Govern­ment de­lib­er­ately, or through its own mis­man­age­ment, al­lowed Queens­land to be­come sus­cep­ti­ble to bush­fires. “We need an­swers now.” Mr Mil­lar en­cour­aged any­one im­pacted by the fires to make a pub­lic sub­mis­sion at www.igem.qld.gov.au.

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