Residents call for rural fire brigade for Mt Cotton

The community meeting which decided to ask for a rural fire brigade at Mount Cotton
The community meeting which decided to ask for a rural fire brigade at Mount Cotton

Redlands residents living in high-fire risk areas of the city have voted to form a rural fire brigade in the Mount Cotton and Sheldon area.

More than 100 landowners attended a meeting at Mount Cotton on Sunday and decided to seek registration for a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteer brigade.

Mount Cotton is considered among the highest fire-risk areas in Queensland.

Mayor Karen Williams, who hosted the meeting, said a volunteer fire brigade would help the community be prepared for fire hazards.

“For a brigade to be formed it needs will and commitment; there is clearly the interest judging from the roll-up today.”

Redland City Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said council had done a lot of work on disaster and fire management.

“Redlands is recognised as having one of the best disaster management hubs in Queensland but this area is at high risk of fire and we need to be prepared,” she said.

“Fire mapping clearly shows the Mount Cotton and neighbouring areas as high risk. We border on 1000ha of fuel and landowners need to be supported.”

Redland City Council service manager disaster planning and operations Mike Lollback said fires on North Stradbroke Island highlighted the need for communities to take protect themselves.

Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland general manager Justin Choveaux said no-one has ever voted to start a rural fire brigade in a 24-hour station area.

Mr Choveaux explained the role of rural fire brigades and volunteers, and the process for registration of a new brigade.

Mount Cotton is one of the highest fire risk areas in Redlands

Mount Cotton is one of the highest fire risk areas in Redlands

“There are 1441 rural fire brigades across the state.  They are volunteer brigades that meet their communities’ needs,” he said.

“What brigades do varies from place to place and community to community.

“In Queensland, the property-owner has responsibility to mitigate fire risk. Brigades are a support mechanism for people to manage that risk.”

As a result of the unanimous resolution, a formal request will be sent to Fire Commissioner Katarina Carroll seeking registration of a brigade.

If granted, the inaugural meeting will be held and the search begin for a “home” for the brigade and plans to fund-raise will be discussed.

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