High praise and thanks is due to our emergency service personnel, particularly the rural firies who volunteered to tackle the Coolum fires over recent days in hot and dangerous conditions, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said today.
However, she has called for the State Government to listen to concerns about the need for better controlled burning in areas such as the Sunshine Motorway and other Main Roads controlled corridors.
“The fire danger has diminished but it’s not over. The National Park swamp land is normally wet, currently it’s not, but from what some of the firies were telling me, the peat-area don’t suit preventative burn offs even if its dry as it will keep burning. I bow to the expertise of those who know this area and how best to manage it.
“However the word I’m getting back is that Main Roads corridors need better controlled burns in regard to fuel loading,” Ms Simpson said.
“The Sunshine Motorway is closed for sporting events, so when it needs to be briefly closed for controlled burns that needs to be part of good management of the corridor. While it happens from time to time, this experience shows the plans need to be reviewed to make sure they’re responsive to the conditions.
“That’s something I urge the State Government to listen to the firies and other personnel who were on the frontline of these fires to learn from what has happened and make sure the best plans are implemented to keep people, property and wildlife safe.”
Ms Simpson said that the coordinated efforts of the various emergency services were extremely impressive during the fires.
“It makes you proud to be an Australian. Volunteers and professionals working together to a great outcome. They are outstanding.”