Prime Minister visits Canungra fire zone

Scott Morrison visits Canungra emergency services staging area and refuge centre


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MAPPING: QFES area director Kaye Healing shows the Prime Minister where the fire fronts are. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

MAPPING: QFES area director Kaye Healing shows the Prime Minister where the fire fronts are. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

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The Prime Minister also went to the fire zone at Binna Burra to survey the damage.

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PRIME Minister Scott Morrison was in Queensland on Friday visiting the communities left reeling after savage bushfires ripped through homes, businesses and areas of rainforest.

The devastation was obvious in the Scenic Rim, where more than 5000 hectares of land was left scorched before the winds died down somewhat on Thursday, allowing firefighters to rally and strengthen containment lines.

The PM spent time at the incident response centre at Canungra Rural Fire Station, where he chatted with emergency services personnel coordinating emergency response teams.

At the emergency services staging area at Canungra Showgrounds, were Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny as well as federal member for Wright Scott Buchholz, state LNP and Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen.

Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause was also in attendance, after completing several shifts fighting the fire alongside his crewmates from the Allandale Rural Fire Brigade.

Mr Morrison said the danger had not passed and firefighters were true Australian heroes who should be respected for their willingness to put their lives on the line.

Allandale rural firies Julie de Visser, Harry Wever, Brad Grant, Jon Krause and Peter Brown.

Allandale rural firies Julie de Visser, Harry Wever, Brad Grant, Jon Krause and Peter Brown.

"This is a community affected by floods and fire... I have seen the charred remains of buildings and mud-soaked carpets of people's homes," he said.

"I see sadness but also an indomitable spirit."

When asked to respond to resident Lisa Groom's comment that the conditions triggering bushfires were directly linked to climate change, the PM said he would not accept any suggestion that the government did not act on the issue.

"The government is already taking action on climate change," he said.

"We have made commitments and we keep them."

Mr Morrison said Australia was on of the only countries set to surpass 2020 Kyoto targets on carbon emissions.

Scott Morrison with David Littleproud, Greg Christensen and Deb Frecklington at the Canungra Showgrounds.

Scott Morrison with David Littleproud, Greg Christensen and Deb Frecklington at the Canungra Showgrounds.

Also in attendance were Natural Disaster Minister David Littleproud and state LNP leader Deb Frecklington.

Mr Morrison and Mr Littleproud announced the Disaster Recovery Payment payable from Monday for people who experienced reduced income or lost their jobs due to the fires.

"People have lost their jobs, Binna Burra had to lay off 70 people," Mr Morrison said.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance supports people who have suffered loss of income to help them through the recovery period while they are waiting for businesses to reopen."

The fire destroyed 11 homes and completely demolished the heritage listed Binna Burra Lodge but did not claim a single life or cause serious injury to people in the area.

Mr Morrison will also visit the Sunshine Coast where thousands of people have been forced to flee a bushfire at Peregian Beach.

Beaudesert Times

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