Firies say vegetation laws contributed to natural disaster
AN INDEPENDENT review into Queensland's 2018 bushfires is currently gathering submissions but a key stakeholder fears it won't focus on what led to the disasters.
Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland general manager Justin Choveaux expects the review by the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM) to focus on how government departments worked together during the bushfire emergencies.
He said the emergency response towards the bushfires was great and his organisation planned to lodge a submission hoping to steer the review's focus towards what caused the fires - forcing the government to confront and fix the underlying causes.
"What we're going to do is answer the questions that we think they should have asked," Mr Choveaux said.
"We're not going to talk about the war (against bushfires), we're going to talk about the road that lead to the war. What burned and what made it burn so ferociously this year."
The Queensland Government owns and is directly responsible for more than 30 per cent of land in the state.
Mr Choveaux said the government had been lax in its maintenance of vegetation on state land and in national parks while also underfunding their National Parks staff.
"The state is like anyone else in this state, they are landholder, they have legal obligations to make reasonable provisions to prevent fires from spreading from their property," he said.
"We would contest that the State is not meeting its obligations.
"It comes down to what [the departments] are able to do with the funding they are given and then how much of that funding they spend on hazard reduction and hazard mitigation."
Mr Choveaux said the issue of National Parks and Wildlife Service workers leaving fire-fronts in national parks because they weren't being paid overtime needed urgent attention.
He said the government could comply with the law by either adding more resources or getting rid of land down to the resourcing available. Vegetation management laws were also in need of adjustment.
Mr Choveaux said the laws for firebreaks didn't account for slope or the the surrounding vegetation's type or size.