Fire protection increased on North Stradbroke Island

Fire protection on North Stradbroke Island has received a boost with work beginning on a $280,000 fire trail this week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the project to create a one kilometre fire trail at Speedy’s Lane, Dunwich was jointly funded by Council and the State Government, with assistance from the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC).

“North Stradbroke Island – Minjerribah – is a beautiful location, but with most of the island covered by vegetation it can be susceptible to bushfires and this project will help reduce those risks for residents and visitors,” she said.

“In January 2014 the island was ravaged by the largest bushfire in Queensland’s recorded history, with more than 70 per cent of the bushland razed over a 16 day period.

“More than 900 campers were evacuated from the island on New Year’s Day and the township of Dunwich was threatened at times, and residents evacuated from their homes on multiple occasions.

“That experience showed the importance of preparation and being able to access land across the island to fight the fire and back burn to protect life and property.”

Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Cr Peter Mitchell said the new fire trail was part of a network of similar trails across the island, allowing emergency services crews to protect the island and its inhabitants.

“This project – like the firefighting efforts in January 2014 – is thanks to a joint effort that includes Council, State Government departments, QYAC and Sibelco; all of whom are land owners on the island and all of whom work together to protect the island,” he said.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved when different levels of government work with the community to deliver community safety projects.”

Council and QYAC were jointly successful in securing State Government funding for the project and will deliver the project together.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said the new fire trail would help protect the residents, visitors, animals and vegetation on Minjerribah.

“The new fire trail will be built near the native title lands in Dunwich, helping to build the capacity of the Quandamooka People in fire management, while at the same time giving firefighters a better chance of stopping fires jumping East Coast Road and threatening lives and property in the area,” he said.

“The Quandamooka People provided their traditional knowledge to help select the best location for this fire trail; just as they did in January 2014 by passing on generations of fire and environmental knowledge to help firefighters battle the fire that threatened the island.”

Yokarrah Walker helps Mayor Karen Williams turn sod for the Minjerribah fire trail project with Aunty Joan Hendriks and Yulu Burri Ba dancers.

Yokarrah Walker helps Mayor Karen Williams turn sod for the Minjerribah fire trail project, with Aunty Joan Hendriks and Yulu Burri Ba dancers.