Council has completed all 56 recommendations included in the 2017 Fire Review by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chairperson, Cr Karen Williams said the QFES report was commissioned by Council following the 2016 fires on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and resulted in significant improvements across the Redlands Coast.
“The community is to be congratulated for their very positive support towards these improvements.
“Commissioned by Council following 2016 fires on Macleay and Russell Island, the Fire Management Plan Review Report was a partnership with other emergency agencies and stakeholders who together worked to respond to the 42 recommendation made for SMBI fire responses and 14 for the mainland.
“Our Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) Island communities, in particular, are now much better prepared and supported including through the acclaimed SMBI Community Champions and new SMBI Coordinator role.
“Brokered in response to the review recommendations, the volunteer SMBI Community Champions have demonstrated the vital role that strong local networks have in supporting community resilience and emergency responses, especially for more remote communities like SMBI.
“Community education and awareness campaigns have been a fundamental part of the review response and included ‘Safer SMBI, “Spring Clean-Up’, ‘Know Your Neighbour’, ‘Street speaks’ and ‘Get ready campaigns’.
“The campaigns have helped to drive property clean-up and hazard reduction efforts and increased community resilience and readiness in an emergency.
“Tonnes of additional rubbish and abandoned car bodies have been removed from the SMBI properties in direct response to the campaigns. A property compliance effort has also resulted in 764 notices issued to reduce fire hazards and 83 properties cleaned up by Council and contractors.
“The ‘know you neighbour” campaign alongside new island coordinator and community champions has helped expand support for more vulnerable community members during emergencies.
Other fire review responses have included:
- New local area emergency management plans developed across the city and provided to residents.
- GIS mapping undertaken and sophisticated hazard and fuel load technology used to assess and map fire risks.
- Evacuation routes surveyed and updated and emergency signage installed.
- Fire trails inspected cleared and widened and a future program of work identified.
- A new community emergency dashboard warning and alert system developed and in use.
- Program of annual hazard reduction burns and vegetation management undertaken.
- Vital new telecommunications infrastructure installed and upgraded.
- New fire and emergency services equipment allocated and a new Brisbane Region Fire Mitigation Brigade established.
“Council, the community and multiple agencies have responded positively to improving our fire and emergency response. Working closely with the community and supporting individual responsibility for fire safety on private properties remains essential to ongoing improvement,” Cr Williams said.
“While today’s Council report formally closes the Fire Report recommendations, it does not stop the fire management activity that will continue alongside Council’s annual disaster preparedness activities.
“Recent storm events have reminded us to be ever vigilant in the face of fire, flood and storm events and to look at and address risks around our properties’.
‘Council will continue to support and advocate for well-co-ordinated fire and emergency responses across the Redlands, especially the regional hinterland areas around Mount Cotton and the Bay Islands including North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).
Locations with large bushland areas, unique logistical and access issues, and demographically higher aged and vulnerable communities continue to require a whole of government and community response’.