Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause backs calls for inquiry into fire management after blaze ripped through Scenic Rim last month

DEVASTATION: The Scenic Rim fires last month damaged more than 5000 hectares of land.
DEVASTATION: The Scenic Rim fires last month damaged more than 5000 hectares of land.

OPPOSITION emergency spokesperson Lachlan Millar and Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause have called for an inquiry into the devastating September bushfires in the Scenic Rim, saying some residents and responders were worried about disaster management.

Mr Krause said residents were still picking up the pieces after the fires which saw the historic Binna Burra Lodge burnt down when the blaze ripped through bone-dry rainforest.

"(People) are struggling with decontamination of water supplies, rebuilding and emotional trauma," Mr Krause said

Mr Millar said he had heard that communication was not clear, including that people had received robocalls in the middle of the night when they could see no fire and did not know if the call applied to them.

"And of course, you get no answers from a robot."

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said QFES used online platforms to communicate critical warnings to the community during fires but not all Queenslanders were connected to social media or the internet.

He said emergency alerts - a national telephone warnings system which sent voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area - was used during the Scenic Rim fires.

The alerts advised that a significant fire was occurring and that those in the area were asked to stay updated and check what action was required.

"We make no apologies for issuing emergency alerts," he said. "Timely and accurate information can save lives, homes and businesses."

Mr Millar also said residents had been concerned that several bodies being responsible for decision-making had affected the management of the fire.

It came after a review into emergency management of the 2018 fires recommended the roles and responsibilities of all parties should be clearly documented.

Mr Crawford said implementing recommendations of the 2018 review was a priority.

"This includes finalisation of the hazard-specific Bushfire Plan, identification of additional officers to be trained in fire behaviour analysis and the development of reference material in relation to the use of suppressants," he said.

Mr Millar called for an inquiry in which residents could give public feedback and see results.

"Residents have plenty of feedback to give, but they don't want it buried. They don't want it massaged. They want to make that feedback publicly so they can see some results."

Nearly 50 public submissions were made to the 2018 review. These were summarised and included in the report but were not available verbatim.

Mr Crawford said the Inspector-General Emergency Management was conducting an investigation.

"As our government did after last year's fires and this year's floods, we want to hear where our response efforts were most effective and where improvement may be needed," he said.

"Affected communities, including Sarabah, are invited to make public submissions online or via email by November 5. IGEM's findings will be made publicly accessible."

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