In June last year, Council received a comprehensive report reviewing all aspects of fire management across the Redlands, including the mainland and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBIs).
Council has committed to and has been actively responding to all 56 recommendations contained in the 89 page report.
Prepared by the Training and Emergency Management Unit of Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, The Redland City Council – Fire Management Plan Review Report 2017 [PDF, 15.8MB] was commissioned following wildfires on Macleay and Russell Islands last year (2016).
In recent years, the broader community has expressed a strong desire to conserve areas of ecological value, but this report shows we need to strike a better balance between protecting the community safety and protecting the environment.
The report has recommended a more proactive approach to reducing the risk of fire on the islands and parts of the mainland, with a renewed focus on community safety.
The report’s 56 recommendations fall into six separate categories:
- Reducing illegal dumping and hoarding
- Improving the resilience and disaster preparedness of residents
- Ensuring emergency response capacity across multiple agencies
- Reviewing maintenance plans and access trails
- Looking at Local Laws and legislation
- Providing local access to water and fire hydrants.
Council has continued to make substantial progress on the 56 recommendations of the QFES Fire Review Report to strengthen community safety across the Redlands.
By the end of April 2018, 34 (60%) of the 56 recommendations were complete, with 2 subject to final audit review. In total 47 (84%) of the 56 recommendations were either fully complete or over 50 % complete.
The following reflect some of the key actions to date in response to the Fire Review Report
- Property Clean up - Launched by Council in August 2017, the extensive ‘Spring Clean-up campaign to encourage better community preparation of properties in event of disaster, has continued.
- Raising community awareness - Since October 2017, Council’s Disaster Management Group, SES and Volunteer Community Champions have initiated regular ‘Street Speaks’; had visible presence at events attended by an estimated 25,000 or more people, and presented to community organisations, markets, libraries, schools and clubs.
- Simplified Disaster Management Plans access -Simplified Disaster Management Plans have been produced and provided to every household on SMBI and North Stradbroke Island in DL size brochures with essential disaster information specific to local areas.
- Provide guidance on local laws and obligations - Council has developed and widely circulated a comprehensive brochure on vegetation, fire and property management expressly designed to increase community knowledge and support obligation to reduce fire hazards including Local Laws 3 and 6 obligations.
- Know your Neighbour Campaign - A special “Know your neighbour” campaign through community advertising and distributed hard copy information has provided information on how residents can make contact with their neighbours to support clean-up of properties and provide social network support in emergencies.
- Extended waste transfer hours - The clean-up campaign has included an extended seven day per week trial of Macleay and Russell Island waste transfer station opening hours. Commenced on the 18 September 2017 the trial is continuing to 30 June 2018.
- Clean up-enforcement - Proactive compliance assessments are carried out weekly to identify and reduce fire hazards. Enforcement processes have been revised in respect to overgrown properties to reduce compliance times. Infringement notices will not be issued if landowners provide evidence agreeing to undertake a regular maintenance.
- Fuel loads, maintenance plans and fire trails - Areas across the city requiring this work have been inspected, assessed and costed as part of Council’s business as usual operational maintenance. Emphasis over the summer months has been on manual removal of overgrown vegetation and track maintenance. In May 2018 Council recommenced controlled burns as part of the seasonal program of fire mitigation burns.
- Planned Burn Schedule [PDF, 6.0MB] Published - Council has identified planned burn schedule for the coming period and published it for community information (see report link below)
- Telecommunications Emergency Response Capacity - Council has successfully presented the case for the SMBI to be identified as a Federal Government’s telecommunications “Black Spot Program” and received advice of approval for the funding and installation of additional telecommunications towers on the SMBI.
Council will continue to report on the progress on the review’s recommendations.
- Fire review update - October and November 2017 [PDF 329 KB]
- Fire review update - August and September 2017 [PDF 288 KB]
- Media release: Mayor welcomes review of city’s fire management
- Fire Management Plan Review Report 2017 [PDF 15.8MB]
- Annexure A Bushfire Risk Analysis Report Redland City Council 2017 [PDF 3.35MB]
- Redland City Mainland and Islands Disaster Management Plan
- Community members are invited to provide feedback by emailing the Disaster Management Team.