Acting PM Michael McCormack looks on as Mayor, Matt Burnett, speaks to media in Miriam Vale on Saturday.
Acting PM Michael McCormack looks on as Mayor, Matt Burnett, speaks to media in Miriam Vale on Saturday. Brian Cassidy

Evacuee puts the heat on acting PM

TENSIONS were high at the Miriam Vale Evacuation Centre on Saturday as Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack addressed community members affected by the Deepwater fires.

Rules Beach resident Tammy Clements voiced her concerns to the acting PM, who toured the fire-ravaged region over the weekend.

Ms Clements said the relentless blaze could have been avoided if locals were allowed to do burning on their own properties without a permit.

Mr McCormack had been updating the evacuees on the condition of the fire when Ms Clements interjected along with another disgruntled local.

"So do you think when this is all over we'll be able to backburn?" she asked.

"If we had all been able to backburn, this would not have happened."

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Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett stepped in to extinguish the heated conversation and said a debriefing would be held to discuss these issues once the region was no longer under threat.

"We'll be making sure all those sorts of issues are addressed in the debrief and make sure we can address any issues that we can think of," he said.

"But right now, our concentration is on getting everybody here back home and dealing with the fires that we have right across the region," Mr Burnett said.

"Absolutely, I'm hearing what you're saying - we'll make sure those issues are addressed not just in Baffle but right across the Gladstone region."

Both he and Mr McCormack commended the efforts of the firefighters working to contain the blazes, which were contained as of yesterday afternoon.

Ms Clements later told the NewsMail in an interview that her encounter with Mr Burnett and Mr McCormack had not clarified anything and said she had concerns over the training of local rural fire brigades.

"I feel no different than before, they've given us nothing still," she said.

"They won't give fire permits, they won't let us backburn."

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were contacted for comment but said they could not respond until the emergency situation was over.