LOCAL knowledge will be the key ingredient to future bushfire management and mitigation, according to Federal MP David Littleproud.
Following a listening tour of the fire-affected Yeppoon region in Central Queensland, Mr Littleproud, whose various portfolios include Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, declared the recovery program would not be a Canberra-led initiative.
“We want to hear from the locals on what they expect of the Federal Government in times of disasters and their opinions for reasonable measures to minimise the risk of bushfires in their community,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This will not be Canberra-led recovery and mitigation effort. This will be a locally-led approach, drawing from the experience and knowledge of locals who have lived on the land for generations.”
National Bushfire Recovery Agency Coordinator Andrew Colvin accompanied Mr Littleproud on the Yeppoon tour.
The Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said bushfires in Bungundarra and Cobraball area near Yeppoon had abated but risks remained without locally-based solutions like cold back burning and vegetation management.
“All levels of government will find that when it comes to bushfires, the experience of locals will always be extremely valuable to future firefighting efforts and policy formulation,” Ms Landry said.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan said the Federal Government was backing bushfire-affected communities with the level of financial support to both local governments and affected property owners.
“With Category C level of assistance signed off for Livingstone Shire Council and $75,000 in grants for bushfire-affected farmers, the Federal Government is committed to helping communities get back on their feet,” Senator Canavan said.
“Hazard reduction burns are the most important step to minimizing bushfire risks right now. It has a direct and tangible impact on people’s safety.”