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North Queensland Needs To See Bushfire Review

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QFES Newsroom

The LNP is calling on the Queensland Government to release the report into last year's bushfires which devastated North Queensland communities.

LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar said Labor Minister Craig Crawford had left regional Queenslanders in the lurch for too long and urged the Palaszczuk Government to release the report to the public in full*.

"At the end of last year, North Queenslanders were devastated by a fortnight of fires that ravaged rural and regional communities," Mr Millar said.

"Last year's vast devastation prompted serious questions about the state's handling of bushfire preparedness, particularly in state-controlled land including National Parks.

"I share the concerns many Queenslanders hold about land management practices to control fuel loads, how our national parks are managed, and what landholders want to do to protect their property and livestock.

"These bushfires destroyed entire communities, and they are now being kept in the dark by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

"Queenslanders deserve a government with a clear plan moving forward. We need answers now."

Mr Millar said he had serious concerns about the findings of the review given how long it had been withheld from the public.

"Labor smothered the LNP's attempts last year to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into the effectiveness of the Queensland Government's bushfire prevention and preparedness activities leading to the 2018 Queensland fires," Mr Millar said.

"We also know Labor has failed to implement a single recommendation from the Queensland Auditor-General's 2015 Bushfire prevention and preparedness report**.

"Unfortunately, we have a situation where the department will effectively be reviewing itself and the level of scrutiny which is required to hold the Palaszczuk Labor Government to account will not be high enough.

"There must be transparency to guarantee Queensland is prepared for the 2019 fire season."

*Question on Notice No. 767: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2019/767-2019.pdf

**Follow-up of Bushfire prevention and preparedness (Report 5: 2018–19) http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2018/5618T1579.pdf