Council defers bushfire strategy

BUSHFIRE season began at midnight on Sunday but the Fraser Coast Regional Council this week deferred adopting its bushfire management strategy until later this year.

The sticking points at this week’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting in Hervey Bay were raised by councillors Les MucKan and Belinda McNeven.

Ms McNeven said she still “struggled” to see how the 38-page fire management plan and bushfire management strategic action plan “becomes an easily usable document”?

She wanted just a couple of pages for day-to-day guidance.

Mr MucKan then wanted to know how much input local rural firies had in preparing the strategy:

“Was it all Queensland Fire and Rescue head office’s input rather than the locals?”

Mr MucKan then asked, “How much input has the local Aboriginal community had?” – considering their traditional fire management skills and cultural differences.

Councillor David Dalgleish said he hadn’t seen anything on the list included in the council’s massive backgrounder on the strategy “regarding consultation with any indigenous groups”.

“Some of the major stakeholders have been left out.”

Council officers pointed out the strategy had been open to public consultation in June 2009, with “input sought from fire management planning experts including agency members for the Fraser Coast Bushfire Hazard Abatement Committee and the public”.

The councillors however rejected adopting the strategy until a further report could be brought to the council.

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