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Fraser Coast mayor welcomes review into bushfire ravaging the island

Scott Emerson
Article image for Fraser Coast mayor welcomes review into bushfire ravaging the island

Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour says he has concerns over the response to the bushfire raging on the heritage listed island.

Today Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a review into the response to the fire on Fraser Island to be conducted by the Inspector General of Emergency Management.

80,000 hectares has been scorched by the fire, and it has burnt through half of the heritage listed island.

It has led to the evacuation of the island, shuttering the island’s tourism industry.

Cr Seymour said the advice initially was that it was in a remote area and it was being monitored.

“I certainly welcome a full review, I think they need to go step by step.

“For a number of weeks, it was being monitored by National Parks and Wildlife only fairly recently the active command has changed to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and right now you see the resources going into it.

“I think if you’re monitoring a fire, and at some stage it’s handed over and at that point it’s a fire that everybody acknowledges  can’t be put out without the absence of rain, there’s obviously something has gone wrong there, when it could and should have been addressed much earlier.

“I think the review should look at the total management of the island in terms of bushfires and disasters.”

Click PLAY to hear more 

Hervey Bay resident Noel Gibson, who has been impacted by the fire, told Scott Emerson “nothing was done” initially.

His wife, who is a chronic asthmatic, struggles with the smoke.

“They ignored it and let it burn … they said it was inaccessible to get to,” he said.

“Everyone here is saying where are the waterbombers? They don’t need to go through inaccessible terrain.”

He said they “let it burn for six weeks” until it got closer to the resorts and buildings.

Click PLAY to hear the full interview

Image: Nine News

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