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About Fraser Coast Regional Council

Fraser Coast Regional Council is a local government authority that offers public services to residents. It is based in Maryborough, Australia.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Headquarter Location

431-433 Kent Street

Maryborough, Queensland, 4650,


Latest Fraser Coast Regional Council News

Tourism toll revealed after Fraser blaze as attention turns to report

Apr 10, 2021

Advertisement Tourism operators and residents of Fraser Island were estimated to have lost up to $4 million through the impact of the two-month bushfire and weeks-long island closure last year, with attention now turning to the state government’s response to a review of its actions. Queensland’s LNP opposition has also backed compensation for the group and seized on calls by at least one submission for a further independent inquiry into how the blaze which scorched more than half of the World Heritage-listed island was able to spread. Regrowth seen between Orchid Beach and Wathumba, in the island’s north, in January. Credit:Matt Dennien Criticism had been levelled at the government and agencies including the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for a perceived delay in escalating efforts to fight the blaze on the island, also known as K’gari by Butchulla traditional owners, for more than a month before fire authorities took over . The review of the state’s preparedness and response to the blaze, conducted by the Inspector General of Emergency Management, was ordered by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk soon after . All four men who left the illegal campfire alleged to have started the fire have been fined . Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said while the island had “sprung back” and experienced little damage to built infrastructure, businesses had been hit hard at the end of an already tough year by impacts of the blaze including lost bookings. Loading “We worked out what the damages were, and it was probably about the $3.5 [million] to $4 million mark,” he said, with an attempt to recover some under disaster funding knocked back because of the lack of property damage. Mr Simons said a $100,000 marketing fund was provided to the body by Tourism and Events Queensland to help promote the message that major attractions such as the ancient rainforests, Lake Mckenzie and accommodation were open for business. But border closures were still hurting operators geared towards international tourists as questions remain over whether more proactive action earlier in the blaze could have helped keep the island open and reduce the fire’s spread. Advertisement LNP fire spokesman Dale Last said the blaze came as a “hammer blow” to business owners and locals who “absolutely deserve government support” and answers from the review as soon as possible. “The state government has an obligation to help these decent hard working Queenslanders get back on their feet, as a matter of urgency,” he said. Evaluation of the fire’s impacts on the unique island ecosystem, including tropical rainforests, ancient dune systems and protected species including dingoes, is ongoing. Credit:Queensland Fire and Emergency Services One submission to the review by the Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers laid out a range of recommendations including an independent inquiry into on-ground efforts, particular early containment of the fire, and a 15,000 hectare annual prescribed burn target. It was also critical of the cost of “indiscriminate” and less-effective water bombing used, which authorities at the time had said was necessary due to the remote and sandy terrain , and recommended a review of Large Aerial Tanker funding. Scrapping of the policy of remote, high-level approval for backburning to control bushfires, in favour of local incident controllers making the call, was also recommended. Bob Gordon, president of the peak body for forest land managers, said the imperative now was learning the right lessons to ensure the next fire crisis was managed better. “Unless you learn from these things they tend to happen again and again,” he said. A spokesman for Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the report was now being considered and was expected to be released publicly alongside the government’s response “in due course”. Joint Commonwealth-State funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements were put in place to help reimburse the Fraser Coast Regional Council and state agencies for costs associated with firefighting, public safety and clean up efforts, a state government spokeswoman said. Loading “There was no fire damage to essential public assets eligible under the Commonwealth’s DRFA Guidelines,” she added. “The Queensland Reconstruction Authority continues to work with relevant state agencies to provide recovery support as required.” A detailed report into the impacts on — and recovery of — the island’s unique ecosystem is being finalised by the state Environment Department, a spokesman said. This would then be provided to the federal government, which oversees World Heritage sites nationwide. Start your day informed Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here , The Age’s here , Brisbane Times’ here , and WAtoday’s here . Save

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