Noosa’s fire threat needs a better strategy.
Noosa’s fire threat needs a better strategy.

Noosa must reduce its fire fuel hazards, says candidate

A COOROY meeting has been told by Future Noosa candidate David Fletcher, local authorities need to act immediately to reduce fuel loads throughout the shire, particularly in built up areas.

Mr Fletcher said Noosa Council must be proactive and undertake a bushfire hazard audit of all residential areas in the shire to establish where further preventive action is required.

"Part of the Federal government's recent one million dollars grant to Noosa Council for bushfire prevention must immediately be deployed to this activity," Mr Fletcher said.

"Over the past couple of months I've had countless discussions with residents, business owners and visitors throughout the shire in which one topic always emerges," he said.

"Call the cause what you want - climate change or dry weather - as a local community and as a nation we have been hit hard by fires. We need to act now to reduce fuel loads, particularly in built up areas.

"In addition, we need to clear sufficient breaks along roads and bordering residential precincts, and provide emergency access to populated areas landlocked by bushland and with only one access route."

Mr Fletcher said there is a need to educate people on how to prepare for what they need to do in the event of an emergency.

"This includes educating the State Government that it must not again slash Rural Fire Service funding by $13 million like it did last year," he said.

"We need to lobby the government to get off its backside on this and also budget for more manned fire stations on the Sunshine Coast."

Mr Fletcher said the Future Noosa group of independents believed the council must immediately share with the community its bushland management plans for the shire, including for clearing and fuel reduction, as well as using the recently acquired federal funds to begin hazard reduction adjacent to property at risk.

"The council needs to engage representatives of key stakeholders including rural fire services, landowners, the Kabi Kabi people, Landcare and relevant community groups in its planning," he said.