'Lessons to learn': Minister's warning about future fires
MINISTER for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford has warned of more bushfire disasters similar to those that ripped through Deepwater National Park late last year.
Mr Crawford was in Gladstone on Monday where he met with SES, rural firefighters and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff to thank them for their tireless work over the bushfire season.
He said climate change was contributing to more severe bushfire seasons.
"Hopefully we won't see another one of those seasons for some time but it's my job now as minister to work with the department about making sure we can be prepared for another season like that," he said.
"I do think now with climate change and the way things are moving around this country, we will see another season like this.
"We're going to have lessons to learn out of this, and whilst we can give ourselves a pat on the back now we must learn from this."
He spent the evening with local firefighting heroes for a barbecue and spoke about the department's successes and failures and what could be done for preparedness.
He cited minimal loss of life and property as the big achievement from "the worst season in the state's 160 years".
Inspector-General Emergency Management's review of the fires is due mid-year.
"The key things are: could we have seen this coming and are there indicators there we need to be able to keep looking for in coming seasons?"
"We are looking at all our burning-off strategies, how landowners can get permits to make it easy...
"We want to make it easier and a more streamlined process ... but we ... need to be able to monitor them."