Federal member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien visited fire-ravaged Fraser Island.
Federal member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien visited fire-ravaged Fraser Island.

Why Wide Bay MP wants Fraser fire to spark change

MEMBER for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has visited Fraser Island in the aftermath of a wildfire that burned for seven weeks, calling for a thorough examination of land management policies, practices and resourcing.

Federal Government Minister Emergency Management David Littleproud also travelled to the island alongside Mr O'Brien.

About 50 per cent of the island was ravaged by the fires.

"It's important to remember that 98 per cent of the island is state owned and controlled by the Queensland Government," Mr O'Brien said.

"I welcome the inquiry but it needs to be an investigation that leads to actions and improvements, not just a review that sits on a shelf.

"The inquiry needs to examine the policies and practices to prevent a fire like this from occurring again.

"The Australian Government is willing to help in the recovery once the State Government completes its assessments and activates assistance arrangements," Mr O'Brien said.

"There are things we can all do to help now. Fraser Island is open for business, there is great accommodation, food, tours and experiences to be enjoyed.

"Fraser Island's natural assets are open and I encourage everyone to plan a trip there in January, February, March and beyond to help the economy recover from the double whammy of COVID-19 and the fires."

It comes as four men were charged over lighting the illegal campfire that sparked the wildfire.

Mr O'Brien said those he spoke with told him about the heroic actions of the people who fought the fire and assisted friends, neighbours and strangers.

"The efforts of everyone involved who worked to control the blaze and protect lives and properties deserve to be thanked and recognised,"

"It's a testimony to their bravery that no lives were lost and that no properties were destroyed given the scale and ferocity of the fire, especially considering how close it came to some of the villages on the Island.

"While the fire devastated large parts of the island, it's still a wondrous place to visit to experience its natural beauty.

"Already there are signs of regeneration in places with green shoots appearing on burned trees and green grass sprouting up from the blackened sand."



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