News

Firefighters apply heat to government during review

Firefighters apply heat to government during review.
Firefighters apply heat to government during review. Simon Green

TED Malone got a dose of rural reality when droves of volunteer firefighters turned up to a Barcaldine meeting with soot-smeared faces, clothes reeking of smoke and tempers threatening to overheat.

The Assistant Minister for Emergency Services and Mirani MP who is heading a ministerial review into the Rural Fire Service, didn't fuel speculation about the future of paid support staff in the Central Highlands and west.

Instead, he acknowledged local issues around training, equipment, red tape and the issuing of multi-agency permits.

"(In Barcaldine) they were concerned about the amount of training they were receiving. And I think that was problematic about the amount of grass and dry matter and the seasons they have had over the past couple of years," Mr Malone said.

"The other issues were issues that can be solved quite easily. But they did express, every one of them, great support for the staff they had in Barcaldine and were very insistent that the government not close down the organisation or the staff representatives there.

"Even as we were meeting, the fires were still burning and ... I thought under the circumstances the numbers would be reduced, but I was very surprised and very pleased to see the numbers turn up."

In Emerald on Wednesday, Mr Malone said systemic issues uncovered to date could be solved "quite easily" with administration, stronger ties and more support for volunteers.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland's Emerald representative Shane Pilkington said the turnout locally was sound.

"Basically Ted Malone said that at the end of the day, what they are hoping to achieve is an approach of if it's not broken, they're not going to try and fix it," he said.

'If it's not working too well, they will fix it, and if it's not working at all, they will get rid of it.

"Ted has got good standing here. He's from the country and undoubtedly there are going to be changes, but I think this is more about empowering the brigades to manage their own areas."

Mr Malone said he would hold a day-long meeting with the relevant government departments in Brisbane on December 11 to discuss the review findings to date.

"I'm hoping to get an understanding right across government to hold a meeting with rural firies. It's more about land management," he said.

"This review isn't just about putting fires out, it's actually burning at the right time of year."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Local jobs a priority

LOCAL JOBS ARE A PRIORITY: Senator Chris Ketter is in Emerald for a round-table discussion about local jobs.

Labor to hold a round-table discussing local jobs.

CQ housing market starts to recover

MARKET RECOVERY: Things are looking up for CQ real estate.

CQ housing market continues to gain traction says Herron Todd White.

Getting the right message

Bridie Duggan who was awarded the Northern Territory Australian of the Year.

Bridie receives top honour as NT Young Australian of the Year.

Local Partners

WATER UPDATE: Supply improves thanks to rain, residents

UPDATE SUNDAY 5.30PM: WATER supply to some CQ towns that was placed on emergency restrictions has cleared up due to rain and residents adhering to restrictions.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Beating the heat in the school holidays

Ellie Dyer on the monkey bars at a fun filled playground.

Looking for something to do these school holidays?

Santa is coming to Isaac libraries

CHRISTMAS CRAFT: Join in the special Story Time sessions at Isaac Libraries December 5 to 9 and create your own Christmas craft like Sophia, Evie and Ashley Williams.

Santa is dropping in to the libraries in the Isaac Region.

Chris Pratt's 'mental preparation' for going nude on screen

Actor Chris Pratt

New film took some mental preparation for Chris Pratt

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!