31 January: Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford and State Recovery Coordinator Ian Stewart met with locals yesterday in Canungra to discuss how they were recovering post the September bushfires.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford and State Recovery Coordinator Ian Stewart met with locals yesterday in Canungra to discuss how they were recovering post the September bushfires.
Minister Crawford explained to local firefighters, members of the Chambers of Commerce, and local businesses that fighting the Scenic Rim bushfires was the longest running firefighting campaign in Queensland's history.
"Over the period of the bushfires that started in September in the eastern part of the Scenic Rim, through to the fires that impacted the western part of the region, we deployed more than 1,300 crew and more than 200 vehicles," he said.
"In other regions, the fires were brought under control quite quickly, however we recognise the length of the fires here not only directly impacted communities, but have had an ongoing impact on the local tourism sector, and as a consequence, the broader economy.
"The Scenic Rim is only a short drive from Brisbane, so even if only a quarter of residents visited and spent money in local businesses, that would make a huge contribution to getting the region back on its feet.
"The people of the Scenic Rim have really displayed a strong sense of community, and we want them to know the Queensland Government is committed to help this beautiful region recover."
Robyn Lee, Owner of Greenlee Farm & Cottages said she appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Minister and State Recovery Coordinator.
"Our property was completely surrounded by the Sarabah fires and we are now feeling the pinch through accommodation cancellations and reduced visitors to our farm," she said.
"I think it's really important for them to hear directly from people like us and Mr Stewart was very approachable and listened to our story."
Mayor Greg Christensen said Council appreciated the financial assistance from the State to support the community recovery efforts across the Scenic Rim.
"There are certainly a lot of very healthy views on how to spend the money that is being provided at a State and Federal level, and our goal is that it supports everyone impacted and that no one is left behind," he said.
State Recovery Coordinator Ian Stewart said he continues to work closely with Scenic Rim to identify its recovery needs and priorities and to ensure the State can provide as much support and assistance as possible.
“We are developing a Bushfire Recovery Plan to ensure there is a coordinated approach to the recovery process and Scenic Rim is a central piece of that plan," he said.
“As part of that Bushfire Recovery Plan, Scenic Rim has worked with Queensland Reconstruction Authority recovery officers to develop its own specific recovery plan which will guide it through this challenging time.
“The Scenic Rim can rest assured, we will stand side-by-side with them on their road to recovery following these bushfires."
Mayor Greg Christensen complimented Ian Stewart and his team for their efforts in recovery and said that open listening was really important to the recovery process.
"We are going through an experience that no one has been through before - whether that's Council, Government or our communities, and I am confident we will come through this stronger and more resilient," he said.