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FINIA Partners Welcome Bushfire Review Recommendations

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The Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BAC) welcomed the IGEM K’gari Bushfire Review report and its recommendations.  The BAC, who made a lengthy submission to the Review Team and co-facilitated an IGEM Review workshop with the Butchulla community, was pleased to see many of their recommendations incorporated into the final report.  

The Incident Management Team worked collaboratively during the bushfire response (Photo: BAC)

“Participating in the Incident Management Team at the Incident Control Centre for the first time enabled the BAC to view the impacts of the bushfire and assess gaps in the management process,” said Veronica Bird, BAC General Manager.

“The Butchulla community has expressed their concerns about the longer-term implications of the fire. Impacts to the island’s flora and fauna, lakes that were harvested for water, and pests and diseases inadvertently introduced from the mainland.”

“We particularly welcome recommendation 8, that the BAC will be involved in the prescribed burn program and Fire Management practices with the Department of Science, progressing the reintroduction of cultural burns to K’gari,” stated Veronica Bird, BAC’s General Manager. 

Butchulla community involvement was identified in five recommendations (8, 9, 10, 26 and 29), including:

  • A collaborative review of firelines, tracks and trails on K’gari [9];
  • The review of the Interagency Protocol for Fire Management [10];
  • Engagement to source data to inform Predictive Services products [26]; and
  • Expansion of the K’gari Locality Specific Fire Management Group to include representatives of the Butchulla people [29].

Sue Sargent, FINIA’s Chair, was also pleased to see the need to better recognise World Heritage values in Queensland’s fire management response.

BLSR Rangers pictured on the beach during the K’gari bushfire (Photo: BAC)

Recommendation 1 proposed a set of guiding principles that reflect a unified response to World Heritage-listed sites in Queensland be included in the Queensland State Disaster Management Plan and reflected in the Queensland Bushfire Plan. Recommendation 2 proposed the Queensland Government works with the Commonwealth Government to review the Project Agreement for World Heritage Management to ensure Queensland and Australia continue to meet their obligations under the World Heritage Convention to protect, conserve and present our World Heritage properties.  The Queensland Government adopted both recommendations.

“It’s not enough to focus on life and property. To meet the terms of the World Heritage Convention, then we need to manage globally significant ‘natural infrastructure in a way that conserves these values for future generations,” Ms Sargent added.

Contributed by Veronica Bird on behalf of the BAC and Sue Sargent on behalf of FINIA

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