The State Government is continuing to strengthen Queensland's bushfire preparation arrangements with the development of a network of Mitigation and Education Officers and volunteer community educators to assist with fire safety in local communities.
Emergency Services Minister Neil Robert said seven new Mitigation and Education Officers (MEO) and 69 volunteer community educators had already been appointed.
"Last year Queenslanders saw how dangerous bushfires could be with more than 4,000 vegetation fires igniting across the state - one of our worst seasons on record," Mr Roberts said.
"That's why it's essential we get programs in place at a grassroots level to assist people in our local communities with fire safety and preparedness."
"These newly appointed officers and educators and the continuing development of the state-wide network is an important part of that process."
"It is anticipated that up to 3,000 volunteer community educator s will eventually be recruited to support local communities."
A volunteer community educator is a non-operational role dedicated to providing bushfire and fire safety education through the promotion and delivery of fire safety programs as well as rural-specific initiatives.
MEOs are full-time employees of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service who provide support to the volunteer community educators, as well as participating in critical community mitigation and education activities.
Mr Roberts said the Government had taken proactive steps to establish the network in response to the interim findings of the Victorian Bushfires Commission.
"While Queensland's natural disaster risk profile is very different to that of Victoria, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service had been working to address the Commission's findings and ensure the State's fire safety."
"A major theme of the report included the need for early education and information pr ovided to the public."
"Through the continuing establishment of this network the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service can continue to help protect communities from the risk of bushfires."
Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services
The Honourable Neil Roberts