THE LNP is calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Queensland’s devastating bushfires.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said communities rocked by bushfires deserved answers and a Parliamentary Inquiry was the appropriate forum.
“Concerns have been raised about land management practices to manage fuel loads, how our national parks are managed and what landholders also want to do to protect their property and livestock,” Ms Frecklington said.
“These bushfires have been devastating, but we need to learn lessons about how we can prevent it from happening again.
Climate change can’t be used as an excuse to do nothing. If anything, climate change means we should be adapting our response more.
“Climate change can’t be used as an excuse to do nothing. If anything, climate change means we should be adapting our response more.”
The calls for an inquiry as the Palaszczuk government announced that joint federal/state disaster assistance had been extended to help cover the costs of fighting the fires in Banana Shire Council and provide further recovery assistance to communities in Isaac, Livingstone and Mackay.
Affected small businesses in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton regional council areas would also have to access concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 under Category B disaster assistance.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and is in addition to the assistance already available for communities in Central Queensland.
LNP Opposition fire spokesman Lachlan Millar, who was in Mackay today, said the multi-party inquiry would involve public hearings and the opportunity to talk to affected landholders and communities in regional Queensland.
“This is an issue that should be above politics because it’s vitally important we get the policy settings right,” Mr Millar said.
“We know the number of burns by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has dropped dramatically.
“Getting bushfire management right can save lives and save communities.
“It will also save native vegetation from being destroyed by bushfires and protect wildlife and livestock.”
Anger over the Palaszczuk government’s treatment of rural Queensland is also boiling over in the community. A protest is being organised by the Green Shirts Movement Qld in Agriculture Minister Mark Furner’s Ferny Grove electorate in Brisbane on December 13.
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au.
Contact the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 for assistance and information on the concessional loans.