Redland City Council’s proactive approach to identifying and reducing bushfire risks has been welcomed by residents visited by officers from its Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team.
Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Councillor Karen Williams said Council was working in partnership with Queensland Fire Emergency Services (QFES) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to carry out audits across the city.
“Officers have visited individual properties to help identify overgrown vegetation and a build-up of fuel load that can increase fire hazard risk. They also provided residents with practical advice and direction on reducing risks.”
As well as the audits, Council is conducting a bushfire awareness campaign over the next few months funded under state and federal government grants. Council will collaborate with the QFES to deliver a number of information sessions as well as installing 10 permanent signs in high-risk bushfire areas reminding people to know the risk, prepare a survival plan and report any bushfire or arson to 000.
Deputy Mayor and Deputy Chair of the LDMG Cr Julie Talty (Division 6) said long-time Mount Cotton residents John and Lois Hughes had recently taken part in Council’s Fire Risk Management Program.
“The Hughes have lived on their rural property for some 50 years,” Cr Talty said.
“A Council officer from the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team visited them to chat about being prepared for the upcoming fire season and an inspection was carried out on their property to look at ways of reducing the risk of it being affected by bushfires.”
Mr Hughes said they were pleased with the quick response by the team.
“They really got the ball rolling,” he said.
Mr Hughes said he had built up detailed knowledge over the years of surrounding properties and landscapes, and about local conditions that affect the risk of bushfires.
And while they have never had a bushfire on their property, Mr Hughes, who maintains several fire hoses on his land, agreed it was important not to let complacency creep in.
“It wasn’t that long before the inspection by the officer that we went down to a local (community bushfire information) meeting and that was a really good night. We learnt quite a bit there as well,” he said.
“When we had the inspection at our place the officer asked us what our plan was in an emergency. Well, we had a plan about what we would take and which way we’d go in the car depending on where the fire was coming from. But then he asked us where we would go and stay.
“That got me thinking, and that night I came up with a plan for that part of our plan!”
Mr Hughes said issues around long grass near his property had been addressed by Council during the audit.
“I encourage all residents to arrange a visit by the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team,” Cr Talty said.
Cr Williams also encouraged the Redlands Coast community to take advantage of the “incredibly important” information sessions on offer.
“They provide targeted advice and information to property owners in identified high-risk areas as well as offering bushfire-preparedness information across the entire region,” she said.
Bushfire awareness information nights will be held at the following times and locations:
- 4 November, IndigiScapes, Capalaba, 6.30-8.30pm
- 11 November, Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton, 6.30-8.30pm
Council will also host an information stall at the IndigiScapes Eco Market (4 December, 8am-noon).
Registration for the information nights is via redland.qld.gov.au
Council also has a free opt-in emergency alert messaging service. Go to: disaster.redland.qld.gov.au
To arrange a visit by the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3829 8999.